Selecting and purchasing webfont licenses

Buying webfonts at has a few new aspects to be aware of; our guide will take you through the process.

If you’re used to buying font licenses for print, then purchasing webfont licenses has a few differences and extra considerations you should be aware of. If you’re used to buying other types of online service, then forget about planning for ongoing maintainence costs, or having to remember annual payments. Your MyFonts purchase is a one-time event, and it starts here:

The family page

When you click on a font name from a list of search results, you’ll first come to a page for that entire family (even if there’s only one style in that family). You can add the whole family to your cart straight away, or you may want to inspect the individual fonts in more detail first.

Single font pages

Single font pages contain all the detail about that particular weight or style. You can see a range of sizes in a waterfall, browser rendering previews as a complete list or in a side-by-side comparison, a complete glyph palette and your options for buying the license, including the individual font or within a family. The rendering previews are very important, and it’s often a good idea to look through every font in a family before committing to a purchase, especially with families with a wide range of weights, to check that the desired weight will display well in its planned size.

Buying choices

This page — whether you get to it from a family page or a single font page — lists all the available ways to buy a license for that font. Typically, this will be either as a single weight or as part of a larger package or family. Foundries often offer their fonts in several different combinations of weights, or from basic sets of four to expert sets with every possible weight and style included. Larger familes usually represent a cost saving compared to buying fonts individually, but before investing in a family consider your expected needs carefully. If you’re buying a font for text use, then a range of weights and styles will be very desirable, but if it’s just for headlines then there may not be as great a requirement for contrast or variation. The listed price is for either one desktop license or one webfont license. An extended explanation of license and price structure is available here.

The shopping cart

Before getting to the shopping cart, we’ll show you an option to select a license based on your intended use. You can either: select a webfont license if you need to use the font on a website using @font-face CSS; select desktop if you intend to only use the font on your local machine; or select both and get a 50% discount off the cost of one of the licenses.

You can edit your cart by adjusting the number of page views you expect you will need. Anything over the basic 10,000 a month, and the desktop license will be included for free. Select no page views and you won’t get a webfont license, just as if you select no users you don’t get a desktop license.


Confirm your payment method in section one, and provide some details about the use of the fonts (webfonts only) in sections two and three.

An important distinction with standard desktop licenses is that the license owner must be the website owner, so if you’re buying on behalf of someone else, please enter their name (or business name) here. Design studios, for example, can’t reuse their webfont licenses for multiple clients. In other words, webfont licenses are a project overhead, not an operating overhead.

Section three is by no means mandatory, but we’re always on the lookout for interesting examples of our fonts in use and if you specify your project here then maybe we’ll be in touch to feature it in our showcase.

Finally, confirm your cart’s contents one more time, paying particular attention to the number of desktop users and page views — this is your last chance to correct anything before we charge your card. If you’re happy with everything, hit the big green button.

Order download

You can either get a quick start package to install on your servers, or adjust a few settings to suit your needs.

The quick start webfont kit will work out of the box for most users. Take a look at the StartHere.html file included in the kit for instructions on how to get your webfonts onto your site.

If you want to change your kit’s specification before you download, then there are a number of options to control:

1. If you’re going to create several kits from one purchase, then you might find it useful to name each kit. Or perhaps upgrades to browser technology have come along, so your kit name might need a date.

2. If you’ve purchased fonts for several different projects in one order, then you’ll want to create separate kits for each project. You can include or exclude fonts from the kit by checking the boxes.

3. The kit automatically serves the right format for the end-user’s browser, but if you want to turn off a particular compatability function, do it in the third section.

4. The hinting controls affect how the font is rendered on different operating systems. If you think the designer’s built in hinting might do a better job than that generated automatically by our system, then choose ‘Native’.

5. At the time of writing, OpenType features are not supported in most shipping browsers. This will improve in the near future, so you could recreate your kit at a later date an enable the full OpenType glyph palette and re-upload it to your server.

6. If you only plan to write in English and Western European languages, "subsetting" the font will make for smaller files and quicker downloads for your site visitors. If your site is written in other languages, you'll want to include the whole font. 

It’s possible at any stage to return to this download page, tweak your configuration and replace the resulting kit on your server.

The .zip file

If you’ve customized your kit, use the download button at the bottom of the page, otherwise simply click the large graphic of a box. In both cases, instructions are provided for using your downloaded file.

Once you have your file, unzip it and look for StartHere.html, which includes help and advice for getting your new fonts onto the web.

Good luck and happy exploring!