Frequently Asked Questions
If your question is not answered below, or you require additional support, please get in touch.
What is Fontwerk?
Fontwerk is a publisher of exclusive fonts and offers a range of services for agencies, designers and brands looking for typographic expertise and leading edge font technology.
A somewhat more detailed description of what and who we are can be found on the About page.
Who is Fontwerk?
We are a team and international network of Designers, Font Engineers, Developers and Marketing Experts.
You can find out more about the faces behind the fonts in on our Team page.
What does our name stand for?
Our founder Ivo, grew up near the gates of a large mill (German = Walzwerk). He always had the greatest respect for the huge workforce (which also included many of his relatives) who worked so hard in the factory. He regards type design as on the one hand arduous and taxing but on the other an intellectual and delicate craft, so the name Fontwerk is a tribute to both the hard work that goes into type design and a little nod to the labor and hard work that took place inside the factory.
But type design isn’t just about hard work or manual and technical skills, it is also a combination of creativity and artistic expression. The design of a typeface and the interplay of its characters is also a work of art (Kunstwerk).
A name also always gets extra bonus points when it looks great on the page no matter which font it is set in. We also think a little reference to German engineering goes a long way too ;)
Did the name exist before?
Yes. We were a little inspired by the trend of upcycling and adopted the name from the German-language blog about typographical and design topics, which was run by our founder Ivo Gabrowitsch. It still lives on today: ivo.berlin.
The name FontWerk was also used by Monika Bartels. Monika is a highly regarded and sought after Type Technology Expert, especially in the area of TrueType hinting. In January 2018, the team at Alphabet were very lucky to welcome her to their company and they now benefit from her exceptional expertise and skills. We have, of course, received her blessing to use the name.
What is the difference between Typeface, Font, Weight and Family?
When should I use ‘Typeface vs ‘Font’? And what do they actually mean? These terms have become interchangeable for many and it can be confusing to work out what to use when. In essence, a Typeface is what you see (the design) and the Font is what you use (computer files or metal blocks in the past).
The word ‘Font’ originally came from the French word ‘fonte’ which meant melting or pouring. Back in the early days of manual printing, each page was set in a block with poured metal letters, ink was then rolled over the block and it then pressed onto paper. Each page had to be individually laid out in a block, the ‘Typeface’ was the the design, while the ‘Fonts’ back then were the whole set of metal blocks that were associated with the design (one size was one font, e.g. 20pt). Today, ‘Font’ refers to the digital files and includes all characters and sizes. This font software contains the outline of the characters, information on its spacing (distribution of horizontal space on both sides of each character in a font), kerning (horizontal space between individual pairs of letters), screen display (hinting) or OpenType layout features (which consist of fractions, small caps, ligatures, different sets of digits or alternative characters and much more).
A ‘Weight’ (also called Style) is a variant of a typeface, for example italic, bold or small caps, usually each in its own font or offered via controllable OpenType features. A ‘Family’ is a related set of typefaces that share certain design features. A small family like Romaine for instance consists of the weights Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic, so in this case it would have four weights that come in one font each.
We have to admit that sometimes we use the term font when it would be more appropriate to use weight. But in favor of more fluent reading and general understanding, we allow ourselves this freedom. After all, Fontwerk is not a scientific platform, but a place that should inspire a love for type and typography.
What is a Superfamily?
A Superfamily is an extended family made up of different styles, designed to work together in perfect harmony. It is formed from families with a similar appearance, but the members are from different categories (e.g. sans and serif; text and display).
How many Fontwerk fonts have been designed already?
Not enough! So far, we offer 263 single weights, 21 families and five superfamilies.
How many Fontwerk designers are there and where do they come from?
Our fourteen Designers come from five different countries: Germany (10), Italy (1), Switzerland (1), the Netherlands (1) and South Korea (1).
How can I become a Fontwerk designer?
Great that you ask! It goes without saying that the quality and interplay of the glyphs remain crucial, but we also attach huge importance to the characters behind it. Our designers share our idealism, our passion and positive craziness.
We are always on the hunt for new talent. Find out more here.
Who chooses the typefaces released by Fontwerk?
A panel of type design and marketing experts choses the Typefaces. Your submission will be assessed by this Committee, taking into account various criteria and you will receive feedback within a few days. To read more about our submission process, head to our Become a Fontwerk Designer page.
Do you design Custom Fonts?
Erm, hello! That is in fact a major focus. Have a look at our Service page.
I want to do an internship at Fontwerk. What shall I do?
Can I pop by and visit the office?
Of course, please just get in touch beforehand so that we can make sure we are there and have enough time to see you.
Which typefaces do you use on the site?
What font is used in the Fontwerk Logo?
Our logo isn’t actually based on an existing font but is our own specially designed logotype. The new development and modification of logos is part of our comprehensive Services that we offer.
Where can I license Fontwerk typefaces?
How can I pay?
We accept Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. In exceptional cases companies may contact us with a purchase order, to arrange payment by bank transfer.
Which currencies are your prices shown in?
At the moment, all prices are shown in Euros €. We plan to extend this to also show $ prices soon.
Can I also license fonts over the phone or via email?
By email yes, unfortunately we cannot take orders by telephone yet. The quickest way is online through our webshop.
Can I license the entire Fontwerk library?
Absolutely. Please contact us directly.
Why do I have to go through the order process to obtain a Trial Font?
In order to obtain the font, you need to agree to the License Agreement (EULA) and that only works through the ordering process. But you don’t need to set up an account, you just need to enter your email address.
Can I license the fonts for a third party (such as my client)?
Yes, all you need to do is enter the separate Licensee Address when you order. Please make sure that you have the proper license for your own use. If you’re using the full version of the fonts then you will need your own license. But if you’re only using the reduced versions for the mock-up or presentation phase, then you use the Trial Fonts for this purpose.
Can I try fonts for free?
Absolutely, that’s exactly what our Trial Fonts are for. They are special test fonts with a reduced character set and without OpenType features, but otherwise with full functionality. There is no time limit using them. To find out more and how to download them easily, head to the Free Trial Fonts page.
Do I need to pay if I only use Trial Fonts for my client presentations?
Normally no you don’t. As long as you only design drafts that are not published (this includes printing, on the web, as app or an eBook) and are only presented to your client. In this case, the Trial License will suffice. If the client actually uses the fonts, your client will need to purchase a license.
If you need the full versions of the fonts in order to access the full character set and/or OpenType features for the presentation or pitch phase, then you will need to purchase at least one Standard License.
Do you offer Variable Fonts?
Yes, our complete font library is also available as variable fonts. From Pangea to Case to Supermarker – just purchase a Complete Family and the variable fonts are included in the package. Please note that some variable fonts come in TTF and some in OTF format, depending on some technical decisions made for each typeface. Variable web fonts are always available in the WOFF2 format. Since the start of 2022, we are pursuing a variable-first approach.
We also offer this format as a custom solution for our clients’ fonts. Please contact us to find out more.
How many computers can I install my fonts on?
The decisive parameter for our licenses is the number of users. If you purchase our Standard License, you can install the font for use in the print area on an unlimited number of computers and devices, as long as you alone work with the fonts. So you can confidently buy laptops and devices without end and install the fonts on them.
However, if another user is added, another Standard License must be purchased. If you have several additional users, it may already be worth buying an Extended License. We are happy to issue an individual license for more than 15 users, which can be requested by email.
Can I use the fonts in different locations?
There are no limits to the location that the font can be used in, but the Licensee must be the same legal entity. For example, if there are 12 people working at the ‘Incredible Design Company’ they can all use an Extended License (as it covers 15 Users), if their sister organisations the ‘Incredible Marketing Ltd.’ and the ‘Incredible Innovation Inc.’ want to use the fonts, then they will need a separate license.
How are Webfonts Licenses calculated?
Webfonts are included in our Standard License. They are licensed not by domain or bandwidth, but by the average monthly pageviews (100,000). Within the Extended License, the total of all pageviews of your web projects applies (up to 1,500,000). Enterprise licensing beyond that level is negotiable on a case-by-case basis.
How are App Licenses calculated?
App licenses are part of our Standard License. They are not calculated according to the number of titles or years, but according to the total number of downloads expected (1000 are included). Within the Extended License, the total of all downloads of your app projects applies (up to 15,000). Additional downloads require an Enterprise License, which can be requested by email. Updates to the app are covered by the license as long as the number of downloads is within the agreed framework and the content or scope of the app does not change significantly (more than 10%). Mobile and native apps are considered apps.
How are eBook Licenses calculated?
EBook licenses are part of our Standard License. They are not calculated according to the number of titles or years, but according to the total number of downloads expected (10,000 are included). Within the Extended License, the total of all downloads of your eBook projects applies (up to 150,000). Additional downloads require an Enterprise License, which can be requested by email. Updates to the eBook are covered by the license as long as the number of downloads is within the agreed framework and the content or scope of the eBook does not change significantly (more than 10%).
How are the Broadcasting Licenses calculated?
Broadcasting Licenses for use in films, TV & streaming productions, commercials and similar audio-visual productions are part of our Extended License. It is calculated based on the total number of viewers or viewers of the production (1,500,000 included). Additional viewer numbers will require an Enterprise license, just contact us to purchase one by email.
How are the Web-to-Print licenses calculated?
Use on Web-to-Print Servers is not part of our default Licenses but require an Enterprise License, which can be requested by email. Such licenses are not calculated by the number of servers, but by the average monthly number of pageviews recorded by the web-to-print platform. Part of the agreement for use for web-to-print servers is also the naming of the font name and Fontwerk as well as a link in the imprint, colophon or other comparable places of the platform.
What happens when I exceed the originally licensed number of Users, Pageviews, Downloads, or Viewers?
Please contact us for a License Extension and we will issue this offline. In the future, a License Upgrade will be available online.
We are a school or university. Can we get an educational discount?
I am a student. Can I get a discount?
Can I modify the licensed fonts?
No. You are not allowed to modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or alter your licensed fonts, unless you have the prior written consent of Fontwerk GmbH. So please get in touch.
What you can do is convert the type to outlines and customize it for your own work, for example when designing a logo or custom headline. Please see the EULA that came with the font software for specific information about modifications.
Can I convert the licensed fonts into another format?
No, you are not allowed to modify, adapt, translate, reverse engineer, decompile, disassemble, or alter your licensed fonts, unless you have the prior written consent of Fontwerk GmbH. So please get in touch.
Please see the EULA that came with the font software for specific information about modifications.
What static file formats do you support?
All our typefaces are provided in OTF (OpenType fonts with PostScript outlines; usually used for desktop, apps, ebooks, and hardware) and WOFF2 (Web Open Font Format; OpenType fonts for the use on the web) formats. Most of the formats which people request such as EOT, SVG, TTF or WOFF are outdated and not necessary anymore today. However, we can generate those files in case they are really needed – please get in touch.
But I really need TTF, SVG, EOT, WOFF fonts!
No, you really don’t. From experience, we know that this sort of requirement often stems from an old habit or in a case where the old file formats are required because of old hardware. If this is the case or if you are unable to put old habits to rest, we will of course still be happy to produce the formats on request, but for a fee.
What languages do you support?
All of our typefaces support at least 94 Latin-based European languages such as English, French, Spanish, German, Czech, Polish, and Turkish. Some families such as Ika or Pangea also support Greek and Cyrillic (e.g. Russian, Bulgarian), Pangea also Latin-based African (Pangea Afrikan). When in doubt, check each family page’s section “Languages”.
My font does not support the language I need. Can you extend the character set?
Our fonts already include extended language support. But if you need further languages or script systems that are not included, do get in touch and we can make custom fonts for you. We can design many extensions in-house and work together with our international long-term partners to make sure we can provide anything from Cyrillic and Greek to Hebrew, Arabic, and Thai and even Chinese, Japanese, Korean (CJK), and Devanagari. More often than not, it will actually be less expensive than you may have expected.
What are Variable Fonts?
The most exciting innovation in font technology in recent years is the development of Variable Fonts. The new OpenType 1.8 Specification opened up the possibility to change and alter type characteristics such as x-height, weights, widths, contrast, serifs, the appearance of the i-dots … the opportunities are endless.
Variable Fonts are the perfect partner for use in responsive digital projects, as the fonts adapt and respond. We are currently working on a more extensive overview page on the topic. Until then, we are happy to answer any questions.
How do I use webfonts?
Our webfonts come in Web Open Font Format .woff2 which is supported by all relevant browsers. Because webfonts work using basic CSS, using them is pretty straightforward. If you are even vaguely familiar with CSS you can make them work on your website. There are many good tutorials available with simple instructions that make it easy, for instance from the fine folks of A List Apart.
I forgot my password. How can I get it back?
For privacy reasons, we can’t tell you your password, but we can help you reset it to something new. Simply visit the login page, click the link “Password forgotten?“, and enter your email address you use with Fontwerk. We’ll send you an email that will help you reset your password.