Adobe Fonts

With Adobe Fonts it gets harder to use web fonts for client websites

Late 2018 Adobe announced that Typekit is now Adobe Fonts. This brought some great advantages to all Creative Cloud users, like no more limits with syncing desktop fonts, web font pageviews, and domains. The downside is, that using Adobe Fonts for client websites just got harder for it won’t be permitted to host them in the near future. And Typekit is no longer available as a stand-alone paid service. Here are some of my thoughts on this and what you can do.

I really liked Typekit. It offered an ever-expanding collection of mostly quality typefaces and transformed web typography for me. For eight years it was my go-to place for finding and hosting web fonts for client work. In the beginning, I served web fonts for my clients via my Typekit account, but with the years I switched all of them to their own paid Typekit plans because I always want them to be as independent of me as possible (especially when it comes to technical infrastructure). Unfortunately, with the shift to Adobe Fonts, this will no longer be possible.

No more web font hosting for client websites

With the recent developments Adobe will only allow you to use their web fonts on your own personal or company website and not for client websites:

The Terms of Use currently permits agency reselling, until December 31, 2019. After that time, your client would need their own Creative Cloud subscription to use for the web font hosting.

The cheapest Typekit plan costed around € 50 per year, a Creative Cloud subscription could cost up to € 60 per month and that is clearly an unreasonable amount of money for a client if they only want Adobe to host web fonts and don’t need the applications.

Luckily there is a loophole

… but it feels kind of dubious. Now Adobe Fonts are included in all subscription plans of all products, even in the cheapest (which is  InCopy). So if a client would purchase a subscription for this individual product (for approximately 72 € a year), then they can use all the Adobe Fonts, for web hosting and even for desktop syncing.

And there is still a basic library that comes with a free Creative Cloud account (without any subscription). Adobe’s support wrote to me:

The basic library is a small, limited selection of fonts, formerly Typekit Free. If you sign into Adobe Fonts with an Adobe ID that has no subscription, you’ll see which fonts are included in the basic library.

So there are ways, but it still feels a little fishy and even unprofessional to recommend a client using their web fonts this way. Adobe clearly targets designers now – and yes, they made it much easier for us using their fonts as creatives – but harder to recommend hence use the web service for client work.

Existing Typekit plans will have to upgrade

When I wrote to the Typekit Support asking what will happen with the existing Typekit plans of my clients they replied:

All standalone Typekit plans have been retired, and everyone will need a Creative Cloud subscription that includes Adobe Fonts in order to keep using fonts on a website or in your desktop software in the future.

This means they might go for the lowest-cost option, the InCopy CC plan. But there might be another way.

Go for alternatives

For me personally, this motivates me to license web fonts directly through the foundries or use alternatives. I would prefer hosting web fonts myself on my server and not through a CDN like Typekit. It gives me more control, you don’t need JavaScript and you can influence how the fonts load with font-display. And I’m not the only one who considers moving away from Adobe Fonts, Donny Tr??ng recently did.

And a lot of foundries provide you with a different licensing model. You license your font for a specific domain or a certain amount of pageviews and only pay once. This makes them more attractive to small clients, the entry barrier is lower. It’s a model mostly based on trust, they won’t add any JavaScript to verify if you really are within the licensed pageviews.

But still, for small projects, Typekit was the better choice, especially when it comes to foundries like Dalton Maag. If a client won’t use Adobe Fonts, self-hosting is the only option with fonts from Dalton Maag. And then one font style costs around € 50 for one domain name for one year (with no limits on the number of visitors or pageviews served). This makes sense for bigger projects that need a fixed budget, for smaller projects Dalton Maag’s web fonts just became no option. If my website would not use Adobe Fonts and self-host their beautiful Bressay, it would add up to 200 € per year for web fonts alone – this is the budget small clients might pay once, but not an annual basis for web fonts.

And there are other CDN services like FontStand or TypeNetwork. After all, I could still use the fonts via Adobe Fonts on my system to do the design and then I recommend my client to license them directly. But this just made it much more work to research prices before choosing a typeface. Before the shift it was so easy – I knew every typeface on Typekit I can use for client work.

Typekit was the place for web fonts – it made them accessible and affordable for many designers and customers. With Adobe Fonts it transformed into being a great tool for mostly designers but not necessarily a web font service anymore. And this makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate the limitless desktop fonts I can use for my designs now, but I miss the focus on web fonts, at least for client work. What are your thoughts on this? I’m happy to read it in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter.

Schreibe einen Kommentar

Deine E-Mail-Adresse wird nicht veröffentlicht. Erforderliche Felder sind mit * markiert.