Coming up with the name of your font can be the most challenging part of releasing a font. It’s also a key part of creating a successful font release.
Why font naming is important
Competition for fonts is higher than ever. Customers evaluate fonts closely before buying. Selecting a good name for your font is important for your reputation as a foundry and the fonts you offer.
Font names are evaluated on a subconscious level. You want potential customers to have a positive reaction to your font when they first see it, and this starts with the name. Think about naming your font like naming a company or a brand. This means that the name should make sense with the design of the font, description, and images you create.
Imagine a graphic designer is buying a font that they’ll then use in a project for a company, and then instruct the company to go out and purchase more licenses of your font that will then be used by employees. If the font has a weird name that is hard to remember, spell, or pronounce, that is going to make life harder for everyone.
Font names can also be an important part of the storytelling behind the font. Imagine if a customer asked you why you selected this name for this font. They would be interested to learn how you chose the name, how it connects to the design and the inspiration to create it.
How to pick a great font name
A great font name is unique, has a connection to the styling or history of the design, is easy to remember, and sounds nice when spoken aloud.
The name can come from the intended function or personality of your font family. Consider the names of other fonts in your foundry - the names of the fonts in your library contributes to your overall foundry brand. Consider creating a brand new word, or finding a little-used word from history and modifying it. Think about the first letter in the font name. This will impact how it shows up in font menus; what other fonts are near it? Alphabetically, where does it fall on the list? Think about the letters in the font name. Does your font have an amazing lowercase s? Make sure the name contains any letters that you want to show off!
Once you’ve come up with a potential name:
- Take time to search the internet to see what comes up for that word. What do people associate with it? What is the experience if a potential customer were to search the internet for your font?
- Use the Typeface Name Checker to make sure you’re not using a font name that already exists!
- Search for trademarked names on the Trademark Electronic Search System (TESS) provided by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- Of course, refer to this article to see how we review font names so you’ll get through our review process smoothly.
How we review font names
All new fonts submitted through Monotype Font Platform will be reviewed for technical quality and completeness. You'll also see a prompt instructing you to certify that you have checked your font name before submitting the fonts. The Foundry Support Team also checks the name to ensure it does not infringe on a trademark of an existing font name and that the name would not cause any confusion for customers. We check each font name submitted to us using the handy tool https://namecheck.fontdata.com/ and evaluate it using our criteria listed below. While we make every effort to ensure no conflicts exist, it is up to you - the foundry - to submit fonts with appropriate names.
Your font may not be accepted if:
- The name is an exact match with another font for sale.
- This includes non-specific words such as “In” or “The” or general typographic terms such as “font” or “typeface”. For example, we’ll reject a family with the name “The Verdana” or “Verdana Font” when there is already a font called “Verdana.”
- For example, we’ll reject a font spelled “Verdaana” because it is too similar to the existing font “Verdana” and would be confusing for customers.
- For example, we’d reject a font named “Cheiftan” because this is a misspelling of the word “Chieftain” and looks like a mistake.
Naming your font in Monotype Font Platform
When submitting your font through Monotype Font Platform, you will see many places that contain the name of your font. Please make sure that your font name is consistent and spelled correctly everywhere you use the name, including:
- Family name
- Style name(s)
- Names of the font files
We also recommend using standard capitalization rules: capitalize the first letter of each word. Please do not use all-capital letters for font names, even if you present it with all-capital letters in your images.
Font Naming FAQ
What if my font name is the same or similar to a font on MyFonts but the styling of mine is different from others?
In some cases, we do sell fonts from many different foundries where the font name is similar, or contains the same word. In these cases, it is important that the name contain additional unique words to separate it from other previously published families.
For example: MyFonts has many fonts that contain the word “Sunshine” such as “Sunshine”, “Sunshine Daisies”, or “Little Sunshine”. If the name of your font contains the word “Sunshine” and you add an additional descriptive word that does not conflict with other existing families, then it can generally be accepted. Selecting a name like “Sunshine Sally” would work, because it is unlikely that a customer would confuse this name with another font’s name because it is unique.
What if there is another font on MyFonts that has the same name as my font and contains other typographic terms, such as Serif, Sans, Script, Gothic, or others?
Many foundries produce a series of font families with related designs in different styles. For example, Creekwise Sans, Creekwise Serif, and Creekwise Script would all be related but published as separate families by the same foundry. If a different foundry produced a font family with the same name but added other terms (For example, Creekwise Gothic) then customers might perceive this as an extension of the original family from the other foundry. In this case we would not be able to accept your font and would request that you change your name.
I see duplicate names on MyFonts already. Why won't you accept mine too?
In the past, font names were not checked. As you can imagine, this causes customer confusion and often trademark issues. Today, we check all font names going forward to prevent future issues.
Can I add a few letters to the beginning of a name to make it unique?
You may see collections of fonts that use a few letters before each font name to indicate they are part of the same foundry. For example, FontFont uses the letters FF before each font name (i.e. FF Meta) and dooType uses dT before each font name (i.e. dT Ampla). Adding a set of letters to the beginning of your font names does not allow you to use any name you want; the name after the two letters still needs to be unique.
What if my font name is a combination of two words, made into one word?
This could be accepted if the name sounds plausible in English and would not conflict in definition with other similar words.
What if my font name is that of a common name for a person?
While we don’t recommend using person names for fonts as they are not usually unique, we will accept them provided it does not conflict with existing fonts.
What if my font name has multiple definitions in English or another language?
In many languages, words can have multiple definitions. Please keep in mind that we have an international audience and therefore customers come with different experiences and knowledge. It is best to select font names that as universal and easy to understand, and would have some resemblance to the styling and category of your font.
Names of fonts can often imply that they contain certain qualities such as: styling features, characters for language support, or that the font is best used in certain scenarios. Customers generally expect there to be a connection in these cases, described in your description and in your sample images.
For example: if there is a font named “Mandarin”, then the word itself could remind customers of two things: the type of fruit or the Chinese language. If the description and images for this font include clear references to the fruit, and you explicitly say that the font does not support Mandarin characters, then we would accept it. If the font name contains the word Mandarin and there is no described connection to the fruit and it does not include Mandarin characters, then it would be misleading for customers (because they would think it contains Mandarin characters when it doesn't) and would not be accepted.