Changing fonts

Is there any way for me to make an adjustment to a font? Specifically, a Macintosh Bitstream font–the one looks too much like a seven, and I was hoping that I could adjust it somehow, and not have to change the font for the project (which is one I really like, only the client thinks people will get confused. It’s a menu job, and ones and sevens are very important to it).

And will changing a font be a copyright violation? If so, of course I won’t do it, even if I can find out how.

It can be done, but I would think it would be a copyright violation to do so. I don’t know a thing about Mac fonts, but I can’t see that they’d be all that different from PC fonts, as far as file format goes. On a Windows-based PC, you can see the copyright info for a particular font by opening the font folder and double-clicking the font in question. You may be able to contact the copyright holder for permission to edit the font, provided you do not attempt to distibute it. I found some freebie Mac font editors here. I have no way to test them, since I don’t have a Mac.

There are a lot of font out there (like in the hundreds of thousands, and perhaps millions) If you are having trouble telling the “1” and the “7” apart in one font, and that distinction is important in the final product - find another font.

It’s not any more illegal to change your font than it is to copy a book word for word and put your name on it. As long as you don’t distribute it.

He’s doing it for a project for a client, which is distribution.

Well are you actually DISTRIBUTING the font, or are you showing people what the font looks like? Are you allowing other people to put the font on their computer?

Like I said, if it’s illegal, I’m not going to do it, and shouldn’t even ask for tips to be posted. But before I email a mod to have the thread closed, I do need the final word or whether or not it’s copyright violation. It’s not (afaik) “distribution” in the legal sense, merely display. Only someone in the design field would recognise the font and say “hey! those ones are wrong!” It won’t be going on any other computers, and once the job is done, it’ll be changed back.

That said, thanks for the ideas–if I can change the font, I will. The restaurant for whom I’m doing the menu loves the style and would prefer to stick with it, if possible. I’m looking at font options now, to see if I can find a comparable one.

There is a perfectly legal solution: Find a font with a “1” that fits in well, but looks the way you want it, and just use that “1” in place of all the "1"s in the other font.

You know, I thought about that…it’ll take some playing around to figure, but I think I can handle it.

Many thanks Q.E.D., and all others who have helped me out.

That’s called a typeface, not a font. A font is a typeface of a particular size and attributes (e.g. bold).

Here’s how it’s typically done in the design business. I buy a particular typeface and modify it as I see fit. Should I then need to distribute it (to a print shop, a client, etc.) I only need to make sure that the other party either buys the original typeface or that I buy it for them.

While I won’t guarantee that this is absolutely allowed by the law or the applicable software license, it certainly seems to be within the spirit of the law. What’s more, I’ve seen this workaround descrbed in books and various websites that attempt to explain the relevant legal issues.

some legal stuff

[li]It is common practice to modify the characters of a font for custom usage. It is not illegal.[/li]
[li]Letterform designs are not protected under copyright law.[/li]
[li]You can literally trace another designer’s type, recreate the letters in Fontographer, give it another name and sell it. In fact Bitstream has done something like this for a number of its fonts (or did, at least when I was using their fonts back in the 90’s)[/li]
[li]It’s not uncommon these days for font designers to begin with existing fonts and modify them to create “original” designs.[/li][/ul]

**What is illegal is to make copies of any fonts (like the Adobe Type Library) you have on your system and give them to another person to use on their computer. **

Exception 1: There are designers who don’t copyright their fonts. For instance, Chank is a great designer that has a lot of fonts (but not all) that he gives away for free.

Exception 2: Different type publishers have different restrictions regarding giving copies of your fonts to your printer for the production of that particular project. If you have InDesign, a dialog box actually pops up reminding you of this when you want to include fonts as part of its “Package/Collect for Output” feature.

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