Before I share my list of favorites, I feel the need to explain why you need public domain fonts if you have a Silhouette-based business.
There are three main types of end user licenses you want to look for when it comes to fonts (and designs): Personal Use Only, Commercial Use and Public Domain.
Personal Use Only FontsPersonal use only means you can use the font for something you make for yourself or as a gift. You can not profit off the item and it can not be used in commerce. Personal use fonts include fonts that come pre-installed on your computer and in Silhouette Studio. They also include fonts that you purchase from the Silhouette Design Store.
Commercial Use FontsCommercial Use means you can use the font on items you sell. For example if you purchase a commercial use font with the commercial use license and you can use that font in commerce. For example, you could create a design that involves that font. You could sell a shirt that uses that design. You could even sell the digital design...for personal use.
What you can NOT do with a commercial use font (follow me here...) is sell the design you just created, using the font you purchased, as commercial use file. The reason is - you are then extending the commercial use license to the person who buys the design from you...yet they don't have the commercial license to the font unless they also buy it from the original designer!
One major exception is The Hungry JPEG. The Hungry JPEG's commercial use license allows for the buyer to use the fonts and designs included in their bundles to not only create designs in which they can sell commercially, but also for the purchaser of that bundle to offer their own unique designs - created with elements of The Hungry JPEG fonts or graphics - with a commercial license to their end user. That end user can use the designs commercially in the physical form, but not digitally.
Public Domain Fonts for CraftersSo is there any other way you could ever sell commercial use designs of your own ? You can do one or two things: you can hand letter your text-based designs and then trace them in Silhouette Studio or you can make create own designs in Silhouette Studio and use public domain fonts for any text involved. (Don't forget, in order to sell the digital file format you have to convert it to a file type other than .studio.)
Public Domain fonts and designs are those creative works that the original creator has given up any type of intellectual property. Essentially anyone can use public domain fonts anyway they wish. That means if you create a digital design you can not only sell it, but offer it with the commercial use license so the buyer can also use it on physical items he or she sells. Make sure you clarify that in your commercial use license because you don't want the person who buys a digital design from you re-selling it in digital format.
So the burning question now is: how do you find public domain fonts? There's actually a filter on the font website DaFont.com that let's you sort to only view Public Domain fonts. In a nutshell, go to DaFont.com > click a Font Category > click "More Options" > Check the box for Public Domain > Click 'Submit.' Only those fonts that are available in the public domain in that category will display.
I have picked 14 of my favorite public domain fonts for Silhouette users. There's something for everyone here: a monogram font, distressed fonts, script fonts, sans serif and serif fonts...even a dingbat font. Head on over and download these from DaFont.com.
|The dingbat wreath font is called "Youbillee"|
While there's no easy way to organize fonts in Silhouette Studio, I shared my method for commercial use and public domain font organization in Cutting a Profit: How to Run a Successful Silhouette Business.
Note: This post may contain affiliate links. By clicking on them and purchasing products through my links, I receive a small commission. That's what helps fund Silhouette School so I can keep buying new Silhouette-related products to show you how to get the most out of your machine!
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