Not all countries recognise copyright on typefaces. The typeface consists of one or more fonts in specific sizes specifically created for stylistic coherence. The typeface consists of the letters of the alphabet, numbers, ideograms, symbols, and punctuation marks which may be needed for a specific style.

Although copyright on typefaces also relate to fonts, there is a difference between a typeface and a font. The typeface consists of a font family group while the font only refers to a particular font. One can for instance, get several Roman fonts which make up a typeface. The typeface will also include the italics and bold versions of the various fonts included in the typeface.

Copyright on typefaces exists to ensure that the typographers and font developers can get compensation for their creative work. The fonts making up the typefaces are measured in points and form part of the design ensuring copyright protection on the typefaces also include any size of such. The USA Copyright Office doesn’t recognise copyright on typefaces and therefore doesn’t allow registration for such. In Germany typefaces are not copyright protected, but can gain protection under the design patent laws of the country.

The UK recognised copyright on typefaces whereas in Switzerland there is a general lack of laws governing typeface design protection. Japan doesn’t recognise copyright on typefaces because it sees it as a widespread means to communication which would limit the usage thereof should there be copyright on typefaces. In South Africa, the publisher of a book can retain copyright on the lay-out and also typefaces used in the book. To make things more complicated, there are industrially produced and digitally produced typefaces.