Shipping Fonts with Devices

Most commercial font EULAs do not permit their redistribution with devices, regardless of the font being in its native TrueType or OpenType file format or being converted into a propriety format (outline or bitmap). However, most font vendors are willing to license fonts for such use.

A wide range of devices use fonts to display user interfaces and content. These devices range from handheld computers and GPS navigation devices to music players, mobile phones, and set top boxes. The operating systems in these devices include proprietary and open source systems, including VxWorks, Unix, Linux, Symbian, Android and Windows CE to name a few.

Hardware manufacturers typically ship fonts with devices to support text input and rendering. In the past hardware makers would include bitmap fonts on devices, but advances in screens, processors and memory mean that an increasing number of devices and operating systems support and include outline fonts, typically in the TrueType or OpenType format. These fonts have various advantages over bitmap fonts, they are scalable so can be used to render text at a variety of sizes and are Unicode encoded, providing multilingual support.

Device manufacturers typically have different requirements than application developers and graphic designers. They may be more concerned with font file sizes, rendering quality at small sizes, character set support and warranty & indemnification (to minimize legal risk).


Please Contact Webtype if you have any questions on font licensing or to discuss your particular font needs.