Monotype Imaging has launched Keep Design Alive, a campaign aimed at encouraging creative professionals to take personal responsibility for font and software licensing to help end the culture of font piracy. Designed to educate designers and raise awareness, the campaign points out that sharing or copying fonts is like stealing another designer's work.

Font design is an art, says the campaign, and font designers such as Robin Nicholas – famous for creating Arial – and Stanley Morison, who designed Times New Roman, trained for many years to perfect their craft. A single font can take up to 200 hours to create. Font designers are paid by revenue generated by royalties on licences sold and many independent font designers are reliant on this for their livelihood. Without this income font designers will cease to exist, which in turn will lead to a lack of diversity in fonts for graphic designers to use. Furthermore, using unlicensed fonts not only puts your credibility at risk with clients, it leaves you and your company at risk of prosecution.

“Designers must respect fellow designers’ intellectual property. Otherwise the entire design industry is at risk of becoming a free for all, putting the value of design itself at risk” said John McCallum, managing director of Monotype Imaging.

Creative professional are invited to make a stand to protect the livelihood of fellow designers and the design industry itself, by registering their support at www.monotypefonts.com/keepdesignalive .

As part of the campaign, Monotype is offering free, confidential advice on how to get your font licensing under control by calling 01737 781666.

It has also developed the Fontwise Fontcheck Tool, which anyone can download for free from www.fontwise.com/fontcheck . Designed to help those who are unaware of how many fonts are installed on their computer, this tool will quickly scan a computer and advise a full font audit where necessary. Should you need to update your licensing, Monotype is offering a discount if your company has registered as a supporter of Keep Design Alive campaign.