The American rights owner of mainstay fonts Times New Roman and Arial has restricted access to Russian users, the latest consequence for Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, the Vedomosti business daily reported Thursday.
Monotype Imaging Inc.’s font library began notifying Russian-based users this week that “the site’s owner may have set restrictions that prevent you from accessing the site,” Vedomosti reported.
Users can still access the popular typefaces — including Verdana, Tahoma and Helvetica — with virtual private networks (VPN) that circumvent geographical restrictions, the newspaper said.
Monotype, a subscription-based service with access to 36,000 fonts, has not announced the restrictions and declined to comment on the report.
Experts told Vedomosti that Russian license holders of Monotype typefaces should still be able to use the fonts on previously purchased Microsoft and Apple software. Both tech giants halted all new sales of products and services in Russia last month in protest of the Ukraine war.
“Of course, Monotype could seek to ban the use of fonts in Russia, but it’s such a drag it’s unlikely the company will go for it,” said Sergei Polovnikov, the head of Russia’s Content Review analytical agency.
Others pointed to the widespread availability of paid and free fonts that have a similar design but a different license.
“The world does not revolve around Monotype. Many other platforms offer similar fonts,” said Alexei Andreyev, managing partner at the Depot branding agency.
Typefaces are used by book publishers, website developers, branding and advertising agencies, as well as large corporations and state companies.