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Types of Design License

Design license offers plentiful options for interior designer or product designer, also graphic designer and others. Licensing policy was made by the content creator, restricting the design from being used by anyone and regulating violation penalties.

Arranging license or trademark registration is essential, way before starting the business, either for company or small and medium enterprises. They were regulated under intellectual property laws for legal protection.


Everything Designers Need to Know About Design License

Most people aren’t familiar with a license; it is a permit given from the patent holder (licensor) to the person who receives the license (licensee). The licensor can be both exclusive patent or non-exclusive ones.

The permit is administered by Government Regulation no 36 of 2018. Everyone should grant a license to use something owned by either company or individual.

You have to spend some money or sign an agreement letter to own a license. It was meant to give and gain customers’ trust with your business.

You can read on to explore several types of license design and find out what benefits will designers get.


It is everyone’s software which is accessible either for free or optional donation. This software is often considered as freeware because customers get their access without spending a penny.

Donationware provides various alternative models for designers to fund their software products. Its procedure is quite simple and easy to follow.

Developers allow distributing only their programs for free or asking for donations from their users. Meanwhile the design license is separately delivered to other users. You can adjust your budget for donation.

Donationware takes their part against the piracy with less cost, because they appreciate their customers’ donation.


Shareware is a free-shared application. The users are able to download and use it for certain periods of time or spending some money for permanent use.

Since the design license is given for free, some features are not accessible. In short, your features aren’t completely unlocked, unless you pay for the license.

You probably have tried all of the Shareware free products. Starting from internet download manager to winrar, Microsoft windows, powerDVD and anti-virus software like Norton or Smadav.

Shareware allows you to try, to use and to share their various products for free.

However, free users only have some time to use them. Get yourself a premium version for whole features and unlimited access.

Free For Personal Use

Designers are quite familiar with this design license. As the name suggests, Free personal is specified for personal use only, not for commercial purpose.

Different from Donationware where you can commercialize their products in exchange of donation, Free for personal use is restricted for any purposes, not even donation.

Donation is basically the same as a transaction, without stating a price. You can easily access this software anytime for free.

At the same time, you can cut your design-learning budget and reallocate the fund for other needs.

Free for Commercial Use

In a reverse way to Free for personal, commercial means spending money before using it. Worry not, some products are still available for free.

Free commercial is a design license which is similar to that of free-royalty. The difference is, a creator can limit the product’s commercial rights. 

Some big companies also use this license for their business needs. You will be given a key to access the site, once your payment is received.

Desktop License

It is the key license for computer use; non-transferable, timeless and non-exclusive license. The font was sent in Opentype (.otf) format, and available for public use.

This is a font-permit type, allowing the windows or mac os users to see and use their devices. It is being used at design studios as well, advertisement agencies, marketing, printers and others.

The design license allows their users to draft and edit the font content in applications, such as powerpoint, excel, keynote, photoshop, pages and others.

Also, users can use document, output and catalog fonts for printing and other files like pdf.  Desktop License also lets their users use it for personal business, internal or images.

Website License

License can help you deal with content thefts by protecting your website contents. Some creators struggle with content theft where they want to re-upload the same content for their own site.

Managing a website requires a lot of preparation and a design license tops your to do list. The permit allows the public to access your site legally.

Getting a legal permit for a website is quite hard. The licensor will consider your designs, contents, displays, url and others before stamping the paper.

It’s really helpful to create SEO content on the site with the purpose of attracting Google search engines. Using provided features on the site would help too.

Without a license, a website couldn’t make a better move and be known by the public. Therefore, registering your website permit is something you should afford for.

Embedded License

Embedded license is a built-in license, mostly found on electronic hardware such as smartphones, laptops, computers and others. This design license is an ownership permit if someone buys second-hand electronic devices.

The second-hand devices still own an inseparable built-in license though, such as Google play store permit, display design and other settings.

In other words, the old user grants a permit to access their devices. No matter who owns the device, the license stays there.


We can’t deny the importance of having a permit for our business or personal contents, preventing them from being claimed by others. Mentioned above are just a few of the design license types you can take as a reference.

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