US owner of rights to flagship Times New Roman and Arial fonts has restricted access to Russian users, latest consequence of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, according to business daily Vedomosti reported Thusday.
Monotype Imaging Inc.’s Font Library began notifying Russia-based users this week that “the site owner may have set restrictions that prevent you from accessing the site,” Vedomosti reported.
Users can still access popular typefaces — including Verdana, Tahoma and Helvetica — with virtual private networks (VPNs) that bypass geo-restrictions, the newspaper said.
Monotype, a subscription service with access to 36,000 fonts, did not announce the restrictions and declined to comment on the report.
Experts told Vedomosti that Russian licensees of Monotype typefaces should still be able to use the fonts on previously purchased Microsoft and Apple software. The two tech giants halted all new sales of products and services to Russia last month to protest the war in Ukraine.
“Of course, Monotype could seek to ban the use of fonts in Russia, but it is so painful that the company is unlikely to agree,” said Sergei Polovnikov, director of the Russian analysis agency. Content Review.
Others pointed to the widespread availability of paid and free fonts that have a similar design but a different license.
“The world doesn’t revolve around Monotype. Many other platforms offer similar fonts,” said Alexei Andreyev, managing partner at brand agency Depot.
Fonts are used by book publishers, website developers, branding and advertising agencies, as well as large corporations and public companies.