Question about desktop license for Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ Medium

I was sent a file for a USDA poultry icon that is required to be on a food package front. The file says it was from the USDA and we are supposed to use font: Akzidenz-Grotesk BQ Medium from Berthold.

I went and looked for the font at the website and saw these EULA restrictions.

No Commercial Printed Matter. Licensee may not use the Font Software to create printed matter for commercial business use (e.g. books, magazines, etc.).

No Logo Usage. Licensee may not use the Font Software to create and/or modify the digital character outlines of the Font Software for the purpose of embedding the same into digital files depicting a logo.

No Conversion into Vector Outlines/Rasterized Bitmaps. Licensee will not convert the Font Software into vector outlines and/or rasterized bitmaps.

My questions are:
Does (No Commercial Printed Matter) mean no commercial work any kind? What is the purpose of buying a commercial desktop license? Am I misunderstanding?
Does (No Logo Usage) mean I can't use it for a seal or icon? Isn't that kind of like a logo?
Does (No Conversion into Vector Outlines) mean if the printer asks me to convert art to outlines I must refuse to do so?



  • This is an old—and utterly idiotic—story. I refer you to this earlier thread:

    It's a bit like buying a car and being told that, by signing the sales agreement, you may not drive the car anywhere except on your own driveway. 
  • Use Basic Commercial from Linotype instead. Same glyph shapes, only difference is no Berthold trademarked name.
  • Thanks. So, was I misunderstanding their license or is it unreasonable?
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,458
    edited August 2022
    USDA requires that all seals, especially inspection seals and labels be acquired only from USDA sanctioned officials only.  This requires that the product be inspected and approved.  I do not know who your client is but this sure seems fishy to me.

  • Use Basic Commercial from Linotype instead. Same glyph shapes, only difference is no Berthold trademarked name.

    Agreed. There are some differences when it comes to things like style range, language support, design of special characters, etc., but these should be inconsequential for the OP. Today I learned that Basic Commercial’s italics are obliques, unlike in the versions sold by Berthold Types.

  • Basic Commercial Roman is a little thin compared to the Berthold medium font and I don't see a SemiBold weight. And the commas are rounded instead of squares. But who is going to care? It is used at approx. 4.3pts.
  • Basic Commercial Roman is a little thin compared to the Berthold medium font and I don't see a SemiBold weight

    The two versions simply use a different style naming scheme.
    AG Regular = BC Roman
    AG Medium = BC Bold
    AG Bold = BC Black

    For the commas: not sure what version you are looking at. To me, the comma in BC looks just as square as AG’s.

  • You are correct. It is square. I was looking at WORK SANS SEMIBOLD. Thanks.
  • Ironically, Monotype just bought Berthold, so I imagine the licensing will change soon.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,458
    Lovers, muggers, and thieves--love that dirty water

  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,458
    Dirty water does not get cleaner when gobbled up by a sewer ;-) The pattern of beginning with well intentioned and skilled type designers who cared about their work to shark-like lawyers and usurers, is what defines us today. Short term profit overpowers love of the craft quickly.
    My mom loves that song
    she must be my age ;-)
  • The current desktop license For Akzindenz-Grotesk BQ Medium at the Berthold website was impossible to follow based on my reading it. I am hoping MyFonts will offer Berthold fonts with simple, easy to understand licenses.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 780
    edited August 2022
    @J. Bridges I gave up on keeping up with Monotype's various licensing a while back.  What I'm hearing from buy-side friends is that there's a what appears to be A/B testing of licenses (I'm thinking there has to be a lot of it for people to notice?) and radically different terms on different sales platforms owned by Monotype. The example one friend gave me was that for a specific font she checked myfonts defaults to a license that permits commercial use but the lynotype defaults to one that doesn't.  I didn't even try to verify this, how could I if there's A/B testing?  The source was someone I regard as intelligent and not likely to be wrong.  If true it's probably still easier to understand than the old Berthold license, but buyer beware nonetheless.
  • Joyce: Thanks for the info. I am disappointed. MyFonts has changed the license on certain fonts at least 3 times in 6 months. As of now they have reverted back to a restrictive license that I would never agree to. 
  • Eris AlarEris Alar Posts: 409
    I never knew about Basic Commercial before, so thanks for the tip 
  • I did a search on Harvey Hunt and found this. Maybe old news

    And this crazy story:

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,957
    A/B testing font licenses seems like they’re deliberately trying to send customers to Google Fonts. Do they not understand that the OFL hasn’t changed since 2007?
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 780
    edited August 2022
    Changing license terms a little here and there is normal.  A/B testing makes no sense.  Mostly it makes more work for your own team.  License don't sell fonts even at companies where a lawyer reads every one.  I think it is alienating to some people but I think there are plenty of other reasons not to do it even if you don't care about that.
  • I don't know why MyFonts changes the license on the fonts they sell but I do know why Yellow Design Studio would want MyFonts to revert back to their unique license that limits the quantity of units you can print. That firm likes to litigate.

    YOU MAY NOT: • Use the fonts for large volume commercial projects (250,000 units)

  • I am pretty sure YELLOW DESIGN STUDIO employs people to walk around Walmart, Sams, Costco, BJs to find "new opportunities". I guess that is how they make rent.
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