Purchasing fonts

figrsk8r's picture

I've never run into this before so I thought I would ask the experts. I want to purchase a font but I have two font houses that I can select from for the same font package. I know the reasoning behind why there are two but don't know if one font house (in my case adobe or berthold) is better than the other. Is there any difference in the quality of the type? What types of things do I need to take into consideration when given choices of font houses? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Note: I'm looking to purchase at Philsfonts which has been highly recommended to me, but have never purchased there before.

figrsk8r's picture

Barmeno.

Thanks, I'm looking forward to the info. I love to learn new things about type.

Fonts 4 All: Check out this thread. http://www.typophile.com/forums/messages/30/16541.html?1064364881
I'd never give my cc# to an unverifiable site like that one. No phone, no address, no ownership info.

hrant's picture

Bitstream rules.

hhp

figrsk8r's picture

I agree hhp. I started doing design work when Apple IIe ruled and Bitstream was the only font house. I still have the original ps fonts from them. Please no dinosaur jokes!

So, Yves, you wrote about going to the source. Should I then be looking at FF Sari or stick with Barmeno? I had found a font example that gave enough character yet elegant simplicity for a logo I need to design. Michael Yanega (bowfinprints.com) was kind enough to identify it for me and put me on to this site. I started searching for Barmeno and found out about the Berthold "scandal" and also about the original type designer.

The font doesn't have to be perfect (it's going on tractors and excavating equipment), but I'm such a type-aholic that when I buy a font I want to get the best one out there at the best price I can afford. Notice I did not say cheap, low cost always helps...but quality is always first with me. And thanks for spending the time to explain all this.

So given all the controversy is there another font I should be looking at that would have a similar character? Or should I go over to FF?

BTW, bored--absolutely not. I wish I had time to learn a lot more about the fine details of type. I found all the articles very informative and enlightening. It would have been great to have these kind of places to go to when I was first starting out. I've learned more in the last week about type than I have in the past 5 years. Thanks all!

figrsk8r's picture

Thanks again!

hrant's picture

> Why be afraid to stand up for something you believe in?

Probably because he lives in the US, where you can be sued for breathing. This is one case I can tolerate anonymity. If you're going to risk your well-being, do it for something more important than fonts.

--

Dawn, Sari all the way.

hhp

hrant's picture

Oh, it's even more surreal to somebody who grew up in Beirut.

hhp

matteson's picture

Would that the US was more like Europe in some ways. I could easily see someone in a libel suit over "BERTHOLD SUCKS". Especially with what you read about the Hunts lately. Hence, I suppose, the disclaimer "(in my opinion)" and the Anonymity.

I don't much care for anonymous posts myself (I don't know why I care really), but I think Hrant has a good point on this one.

plainclothes's picture

"Are you getting paranoid, or has it become really THAT
bad over there?"

speaking from current, firsthand knowledge, it is THAT
bad. epspecially in the beautiful state of California,
where Hrant and I (among many others here) reside.
suits can be carried all the way through the $y$tem
with no legal merit whatsoever, you just need a lawyer
with appropriately minimal ethics.

anonymous's picture

In general, you can use the font from any source, so long as it is the actual font, and not a knockoff. Usually, a knockoff font will have a slightly different name and the phrase 'similar to' in there somewhere.

Fonts.ProfessionalFonts.com

Joe Pemberton's picture

Which typeface are you planning to purchase? (For example,
I prefer Bitstream's News Gothic over Monotype's News
Gothic and I prefer FontFont's DIN over Adobe's DIN.)

Bald Condensed's picture

Fonts 4 All, I don't agree at all. I'm going to
take a shower now and I'll be back in half an hour
to explain my point of view, Dawn. And I wouldn't
recommend Fonts.ProfessionalFonts.com, BTW. We
discussed these kinds of joker sites just recently,
and the general consensus was that we didn't like
them that much. :-(

BTW Fonts 4 All: I do hope for your sake this isn't
some kind of advertising/marketing trick.

Bald Condensed's picture

Hi Dawn, I'm back, all clean and smelling good. :-)

If you're going to purchase Barmeno there's quite
a few options.

The obvious thing would be to purchase the "original",
that being the Berthold version. Unfortunately since
the rights to the Berthold Types Library were acquired
by Harvey Hunt and his wife a couple of years ago,
things have been going from bad to worse. Read all
about it in this excellent aricle on Luc Devroye's
website and cringe.

Though the quality of Berthold BQ Types is simply superb,
ethically I feel it's plain wrong to purchase them.

P.S. I'm going to break up my post because I need to
research some stuff.

Bald Condensed's picture

> Is there any difference in the quality of the type?

Let me first answer this question. Yes, sometimes
there is a difference in quality. It all depends on
who did the digitization. So don't be fooled by our
anonymous Font 4 All who pretends:
> In general, you can use the font from any source,
so long as it is the actual font, and not a knockoff.

The imperative word here is: 'In general'. Never
trust anonymous posters.

Bald Condensed's picture

I made a comparison between the digitizations by
Adobe and those by Bitstream in regards to quality
earlier this year.

It said in my original post:
I've got [Bitstream's] full type collection on CD-ROM
(that was actually my very first purchase as an
independent (typo)graphic designer) and I can
assure you their digitizations are top notch. Just
compare their Zapf Humanist or Humanist Slabserif
712 to Adobe's version of Optima (not that I would
use that face in a million years) or Egyptienne F.
Suddenly, you'll realize that a lot of lines were meant
to be oh so slightly curved, not straight.


Here it's even the other way round: the 'similar
to' version is superior to the so-called original.
Shows how much Mr. Fonts 4 All knows. There's
some ethical problems too, but it appears that
Bitstream have cleaned up their act.

Bald Condensed's picture

As for Barmeno, strange as it may sound, the best thing
to do is to purchase another type family: FF Sari.

Hans Reichel created Barmeno for Berthold in 1983.
"Hans Reichel (born 1949) is a musician/inventor/composer
as well as being a type designer. For 20 years he's
made a name for himself as an accomplished acoustic
and electric guitar player. He's also the inventor of
the Daxophon (sic), an instrument where thin strips
of wood are played with a bow to mimic animal sounds
and human voices."
Reichel redesigned and expanded his popular Barmeno
family for FontFont, but had to change the name to
FF Sari to avoid being sued by the new owners of the
Berthold Type library. See aforementionned article:
Berthold made FontShop change the name of two of
their packages (FF New Barmen 1 and 2, now called
FF Sari 1 and 2), which evidently must have cost
Fontshop some money and embarrassement. The name
change was because FF New Barmen was too close to
Barmeno, which is a Berthold font. As Apostrophe
puts it: "I can only imagine the stream of curses
that went through Hans Reichel's head when he was
told of what happened.


Which in short means he doesn't own his creation anymore.
Same thing happened to Albert Boton who can't use
his own name
to brand his type designs anymore
because one of his typefaces in the Berthold type
library is called Boton.

anonymous's picture

In my opion, if you have the chose, boycott berhold becasue of the way they they treat smaller foundries..

anonymous's picture

"BERTHOLD SUCKS" (in my opion)

Bald Condensed's picture

Your opinion ain't worth jack $h!t when you're posting
it anonymously IMO. Why be afraid to stand up for
something you believe in? Sorry to be so crude.

Bald Condensed's picture

Dear Dawn, I do hope my lengthy intervention didn't
bore you out of your skull. If there's anything I overlooked,
please let me know and I'll try to provide supplementary
information where needed.

Bald Condensed's picture

Like I said:
> As for Barmeno, strange as it may sound, the best thing
to do is to purchase another type family: FF Sari.


> The font doesn't have to be perfect
FF Sari IS perfect, as it actually is the original Barmeno,
revised and expanded by the original designer himself.

> Notice I did not say cheap, low cost always helps...
You can purchase separate weigths of FF Sari at www.FontShop.com.

> I've learned more in the last week about type than I have
in the past 5 years. Thanks all!

Thank you for your kind words. You're very welcome.

Bald Condensed's picture

Re: purchasing separate weights through www.FontShop.com

Keep in mind that a single weight includes the expert
version and both hanging and lining figures for that weight.

A single weight costs US$40; the complete family comes
in two volumes (FF Sari 1 & FF Sari 2) both priced at
US$129. So if you need more than three weights from
one of those volumes, get the full package. It'll cost
you less.

Bald Condensed's picture

> If you're going to risk your well-being, do it for
something more important than fonts.


Are you getting paranoid, or has it become really THAT
bad over there? This seems so surreal to us Europeans.

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