Sneak preview: Syncing fonts to your desktop

Update: The desktop font sync feature is now rolling out in limited batches. Read our update to learn how to sign up for early access.

Great typography is critical to great design, so great typefaces should be easily accessible everywhere they’re needed. Typekit has spent the last four years bringing type to the web, and today we’re giving you a sneak peek at the next step in our evolution: desktop fonts and web fonts together in a single subscription.

We’ll be making fonts in the Typekit library available for desktop use, starting with 175 font families from 7 top-tier foundries. You’ll be able to sync them to your desktop and use them in all your applications for web mockups, print design, word processing, and more.

Here’s Typekit’s own Ben Welch to show you how it works:

Desktop font syncing is a part of the next major update to Adobe Creative Cloud, which was just announced this morning and will launch in mid-June. (Watch the keynote here.) Desktop fonts will be included with Typekit Portfolio, Performance, and Business plans, as well as paid Creative Cloud subscriptions.

In the coming weeks, we’ll be publishing in-depth explorations of the typefaces coming from each participating foundry partner: Adobe, exljbris, FontFont, Mark Simonson Studio, ParaType, TypeTogether, URW++, and Dalton Maag. Keep an eye on the blog!

51 Responses

  1. Woa °_O !! Now THIS is awesome guys ! Many thanks

  2. Ramanan says:

    You certainly don’t’ mean one can download the fonts (like a purchase from Adobe or Fontshop)? Just that one can use them in various desktop applications right?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      While your subscription is active, the fonts are available for use in all desktop applications. You don’t need to download and manage files, it’s handled automatically by the Creative Cloud application.

  3. With having the ability to sync fonts to your desktop, will the type designers get paid the same as if we purchased the desktop fonts directly from them? And if so, is the typekit subscription price going up?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      We’ve made agreements with each of our participating foundries, and they’ll be paid based on the usage of their fonts (similar to the way web fonts work today). Desktop fonts are available from Typekit through an ongoing paid subscription, which is a fundamentally different style of licensing from a one-time purchase of a perpetual license. Instead of a one-time lump payment, a subscription represents an ongoing revenue stream that grows with the number of people using a font.

  4. This is amazing news! Thank you!

  5. Evan Sims says:

    This is huge — awesome stuff; thank you!

  6. Adam Gillitt says:

    How does this work if you have a TypeKit subscription, but use CS5, not creative cloud?

    1. Ben W. says:

      Adam, It’s included with Typekit Portfolio plan and up. Any Creative Cloud account can be used for syncing, free or paid.

  7. Extensis already has WebInk. Way more developed than this. http://www.webink.com/

    1. Yes and look at all 12 fonts they have!

  8. Do these desktop Typekit fonts get embedded in PDFs that can be sent to the printer?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      Yes, desktop fonts from Typekit will be licensed for embedding in PDFs and other electronic documents, such as EPUB and Adobe’s Digital Publishing Suite (DPS).

  9. Nice. Makes live a little more easier.

  10. Brilliant, especially now that typekit portfolio’s font library will be available to other software and applications.

  11. Franck Payen says:

    How will that work when my print bureau requires me to send a packaged version of an inDesign folder ?

  12. Joshua says:

    Okay, so what is this cat thing looking above your adress-bar in chrome

  13. Still really digging TypeCast for it’s ability to do a bit more than Photoshop; so far I have been exporting transparent PNG’s from TypeCast to bring into Photoshop.

  14. Micah S. says:

    @Ben W. You say it’s included with free Creative Cloud accounts…Are these available now or will they be introduced in June as well? I’m in a similar situation as Adam and I can’t find any information on free accounts with Creative Cloud.

    1. Morgan Kelly says:

      The Creative Cloud plans can be found at https://creative.adobe.com/plans. A free Creative Cloud subscription with a Portfolio, Performance, or Business plan from Typekit will allow you to use the syncing service.

  15. Nick says:

    Finally! Shame the service isn’t going to be available on owners of Creative Suite.

    1. Sean McBride says:

      Desktop fonts synced from Typekit will be available in all desktop applications, including older versions of the Creative Suite and even non-Adobe applications. All that’s required (if you don’t want to pay for a full Creative Cloud membership) is a stand-alone Typekit Portfolio, Performance, or Business plan subscription. You’ll be able to use a free Creative Cloud account in order to sync fonts.

  16. Glad to see this improvement.

  17. Chris says:

    This would be really awesome!!

  18. I want this. Bad.

  19. Andrew Phelps says:

    Fonts.com offer similar, over 7000 fonts available to sync to the desktop with SkyFonts. http://www.fonts.com/browse/font-tools/skyfonts

  20. Feels like you should clarify your article a bit – it sounds like only CC users, or more specifically PAID CC users, get this feature. Had to read the comments to figure out if I get it, as a paid Typekit user on CS6.

  21. Frequently . seriously amazing!!

  22. Sarah says:

    Now that’s awesome!

  23. Mike Rapp says:

    There is zero chance Adobe will get one red cent of my money to support their Creative Cloud boondoggle. Read the fine print, folks. Your work will look right only as long as you fork over a monthly fee to Adobe. Forever. Absolutely no way that will ever happen at my agency, Adobe will not dictate my ability to display my work.

  24. the description seems to carefully avoid the scenario where you could make images from text and use them on your web sites. It is different from using the font on the webpage. What is Adobe’s opinion on that?

    1. mokelly13 says:

      As with most standard print licenses for fonts, the case of making an image using the font and displaying it on a webpage, in a PDF, or elsewhere is fully supported.

  25. Mike Rapp says:

    Maybe I am just older than most creatives reading these forums, but these young kids who see a video demonstration and are wowed by something as simple as dynamically loading fonts over the Internet need to really think about this before jumping in.

    Adobe is trying to lure you in with wow factor, but once you pay for a Creative Cloud license, absolutely nothing you create with CC tools or licenses will function without continuing to pay a perpetual monthly CC license. Stop paying, and none of those files are openable with any CS software application.

    And Adobe has total control over what that license costs. What recourse would you have if they say the license is going up 50%? 500% If you opt out everything you’ve done under CC is gone. If you stop paying, everything you have created under that license ceases to be able to be opened or published.

    Frankly I cannot believe anyone who runs an agency would ever agree to do this.

    If Adobe continues to go this route, I will absolutely jump to the first parity product Apple or someone else produces that duplicates Dreamweaver, Photoshop or any other Adobe product. I’ve used Adobe since the day the company started, but my loyalty to Adobe is over if CC is their future. I have yet to speak to a single creative director who isn’t outraged by the CC plan.

    1. We think that the Creative Cloud subscription is a great solution for a lot of people, but we know that not everybody will agree.

      Adobe has confirmed that we will continue to sell and support CS6 indefinitely (see http://www.adobe.com/products/cs6/faq.html). While future software updates will be made to the CC versions, nobody is required to upgrade to Creative Cloud in order to continue using the software they have now.

      Also, the files you create are not in any way tied to your Creative Cloud subscription. Files that you create can always be opened by any compatible licensed product, regardless of whether your subscription is active or not.

  26. Tobias says:

    How are the fonts protected? If you are using current technologies i.e., OpenType what prevents the user from copying all the fonts and then canceling the typekit subscription?

    1. While we do have some content protection in place, our general philosophy is that if the product is priced fairly and is easy to use, people are less likely to steal it. If you’re a type designer or foundry and you’re interested in learning more, please write foundries@typekit.com.

    2. Mike Rapp says:

      With all due respect, Matthew, you didn’t answer his question.

  27. Nils Mielke says:

    Will that also work for FontFont Webfonts (e.g FF Din) I buy from FontShop and host via Typekit? That would be an incredible feature. Even if one had to add a desktop license to make that happen, it would make for great font management across a company.

    1. Sean McBride says:

      For now, redeeming licenses from other foundries like FontFont only brings over a license for web use. In the future, we may explore the possibility of being able to bring over desktop licenses from our foundry partners as well. Thanks for the feedback!

  28. Would this allow us to use Typekit fonts in iOS projects?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      Distribution of a font by embedding in an application is a type of use that’s not typically included in desktop font licenses. Typekit desktop fonts cannot be embedded in native or mobile applications, but we’re looking at ways to support that type of use in the future.

  29. Great!! Any chance this solution will be available for the Personal plan users?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      Unfortunately not. At launch, this feature will only be available with Typekit Portfolio, Performance, and Business plans. As our service continues to evolve, we’ll explore ways to bring fonts for desktop use to more customers.

  30. Paul says:

    This comment might be a bit off or asking too much, but will there ever be a way to embed Typekit fonts into Android/iPhone apps offline?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      Not right now, but we’re looking at ways to support that type of use in the future.

  31. TOM says:

    A previous commenter asked about packaging InDesign documents. Will we still be able to package an InDesign document and its fonts for a printer or for use with and InCopy workflow? Thanks!

    1. Sean McBride says:

      The Typekit Terms of Use does not allow copying or moving of font data that has been installed on your desktop computer. Print bureaus can access desktop fonts through their own Typekit plan, or you can create a PDF to transfer for print output. (Note that most existing font license agreements – including that for the Adobe Type Library and Font Folio – do not allow sending font files to third parties, unless that third party has their own license to the same font.)

      We want to make it as easy as possible for Typekit users to get their work to print bureaus or anywhere else. We are currently exploring the best way to integrate Typekit desktop fonts with the packaging feature of InDesign and Illustrator.

  32. Matt says:

    Will this require you to use the same email address for your TypeKit account and CreativeCloud account?

    Is there a way for multiple CreativeCloud accounts to access the same TypeKit account?

    1. Sean McBride says:

      Typekit will sync fonts to your desktop through the Creative Cloud. This requires a Creative Cloud account that’s connected to your Typekit account, so the fonts can get from Typekit down to the Creative Cloud application running on your desktop.

      As for using multiple Creative Cloud accounts with the same Typekit account, this is not possible. Every paid Creative Cloud membership includes access to a Typekit Portfolio plan, and every free Creative Cloud membership includes a Typekit Trial plan. Or you can link your Creative Cloud with an existing Typekit account. Typekit accounts and Creative Cloud accounts are each intended to be used by a single individual.

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