Monotype launches SkyFonts rental service

Hannah Jordan
Thursday, January 10, 2013

Global typeface giant Monotype Imaging Holdings has launched a new online service that allows users to rent or obtain free samples of over 8,000 fonts.

By accessing the Skyfonts.com portal designers can either try a selection of fully functional fonts for up to five minutes without charge or they can use credits to rent them for however long they are needed.

Skyfonts software gives users a 60-minute warning before their font expires and the rental licenses can be extended at any time on the portal.

SkyFonts entered beta testing in October 2012 with around 2,000 fonts but at its commercial launch this week the service now offers users access to more than 8,000.

Fonts can be rented by purchasing any number of credits that are valid for specified time periods. One credit can be purchased for $3 to rent a font for a day while three credits will rent a font for 30 days. Credit bundles are also available from $45 for 15 credits.

Skyfonts product manager at Monotype UK Darren Glenister said that the new service would benefit a variety of users.

"They include design professionals, students, and most exciting to me, those who want to further develop their appreciation of type," he added.

Glenister explained that Skyfonts' flexible licensing approach would be particularly attractive for those with restricted budgets.

He added: "Traditionally a desktop font is purchased on a perpetual licence and can cost upwards of $50 for one weight. The cost can be prohibitive for some and can restrict freedom in choosing fonts."

Glenister said the new service would also allow designers to broaden their use of type, particularly during the development of new design concepts or ideas.

He explained: "Previously the only way a designer could try a new font within a design was to generate an image from a website and then import it into a design application. SkyFonts allows designers to try fonts direct with design applications like Adobe Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator and they can then choose the right font and license it accordingly."

Users can set up an account on the site for free and for a limited period Monotype is offer 10 free credits for each new sign up.

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