Are there indie font collections for students? If not, why?

blank's picture

This is coming from something I brought up in another thread. I've noticed that students tend to use a lot of "classic" types from Adobe, and to some degree I think this might be because Adobe seems to be the only foundry with a low-cost collection of type for students. To me this seems pretty tragic, as it means some designers will leave school having never used a font Adobe isn't selling, and that means we'll keep seeing those fonts again and again, until we all die, especially from the designers who settle on a few faces early and never switch.

Are there any such collections from other foundries? Have any of you thought about giving students a discount on your typefaces and decided against it? If so, why? If someone started a service that licensed fonts only for resale at a discount to students and educational institutions, would you be willing to sell your typefaces that way?

dan_reynolds's picture

Linotype offers a 30% discount to students and educational institutions.
http://www.linotype.com/2158-16993/discount.html

I believe that T26 does as well, but I can't find a link to back it up :(

Nick Shinn's picture

Adobe seems to be the only foundry with a low-cost collection of type for students.

Adobe has done a good job of marketing to students.
Specialist ("independent") foundries don't have the resources, or attach much priority, to doing that.
However, I think that if you approach specialist foundries directly, you will find that many are very cooperative. I always give a student discount, when asked.

Village's picture

Students may contact Village via vllg.com to discuss student licensing. Many of our foundries offer special rates for educators and educatees upon request.

blank's picture

So far I've seen a lot of useful help for buying individual fonts, but what I'm really interested in is the possibility of creating some sort of indie font pack that could be licensed to a large number of students at a low per-student sale price. A book/eBook with a page for each font/foundry/designer could be included as well, so that students would be able to learn more about the fonts and gain an appreciation of all the little guys out there who do great fonts.

Does this seem like the kind of thing that type designers, design educators, and design students might actually be interested in? I realize that the logistics are nightmarish, but who knows, I may be able to start talking to some people and get something rolling...

thierry blancpain's picture

i'd be interested in a package for sure. but it would have to be useful for "serious" design, i.e. not just funky display-faces. if we take vllg as an example, apex new/serif, flama, dolly - those are interesting and useful typefaces who could be used instead of "the classics" (not discrediting other vllg-fonts, a client bought galaxie polaris as corporate typeface, which is great).

but, and i think that will not be possible for most foundries, commercial use of such typefaces would have to be possible. i work freelance on the side and if i cant use these typefaces for jobs, its practicaly useless to me.

Dan Gayle's picture

Be careful to not just say, "Here's a bunch of cheap typefaces because you're a student. This should hold you over until you're making enough money to buy real fonts." That will make students want to don their eyepatches and set sail on the file sharing networks.

It would be a great idea if you were to make it an educational resource as well. Tell us why such-and-such is an appropriate alternative to xxx-Premier Pro. Unless we're in-the-know about why our new typefaces are equal or better than the others, we're less likely to use them over something that we know will work. I.E., get us a good grade.

It should also be an investment for the future. Good fonts for us as students to continue using as we progress, and just as important, a resource to teach students about font piracy, etc...

Give students a good enough reason to want to buy fonts and we just might.

Si_Daniels's picture

There are really no “Indie packages" for professionals? My guess is that such a package would be unattractive to pro's - unlike the Adobe Library (which is a must-have to get work done) professionals pick and choose indie fonts as needed.

Also I think a good Indie pack of say four hundred fonts, would probably be priced pretty high - $2K or $3K (representing a deep discount equivalent to $5 - $6 each) - say the students got a further 50% off that’s still $1,000 - how many students would pay that?

Dan Gayle's picture

Not many.

But four hundred fonts? Do we need that many in one pack? All I want is this: A geometric sans, a humanist sans, a slab, a Modern, and a few choice oldstyle or transitional text faces, with plenty of weights and options like small caps.

Why not make multiple packages like this available, similar to the educational pack offered by Adobe? That way we don't break the bank, and we still have options on what to purchase now and in the future.

A well rounded package at a decent price point is more attractive to a student than an all encompassing package that requires us to give up booze and babes for the schoolyear.

k.l.'s picture

Thierry Blancpain:
but, and i think that will not be possible for most foundries, commercial use of such typefaces would have to be possible. i work freelance on the side and if i cant use these typefaces for jobs, its practicaly useless to me.

Ehem, you are not allowed to use educational versions of software this way either ...

jpad:
but what I’m really interested in is the possibility of creating some sort of indie font pack that could be licensed to a large number of students at a low per-student sale price.

This would be requiring more rights than allowed even by average EULAs at normal license fee. (But then, even now fonts installed on university computers often make some magical jumps onto students' computers, whatever the trick may be.)

A book/eBook with a page for each font/foundry/designer could be included as well, so that students would be able to learn more about the fonts and gain an appreciation of all the little guys out there who do great fonts.

This would be the job of your typography teachers, or at least could be part of the typography class (and often is): Each student does some research about individual typefaces and prepares a little presentation for the class.  :)

Karsten

Dan Gayle's picture

EULAs don't mean squat to students.

Period.

File-sharing has proven that beyond a doubt. The principle of the thing is great. The reality just isn't.

A EULA can say whatever it wants. Reality has to step in at some point in the equation.

The ONLY way to get students to drop their hard earned money on something they could otherwise get for free is to add value to it. It's called value-added marketing, and even if that "value" is just a bit of educational wisdom that comes with a purchase it still has a higher chance of survival on the market than one without it.

That's one reason why I as a student haven't bought anything from Fontshop.com. They don't list any of the qualities, attributes, history, etc. about their fonts that might make me want to buy their product over another foundries. For instance, I only bought Bodoni Classico after reading the "You Say Bodoni, I Say Bodoni..." article by Dave Farey. That info is nowhere to be seen in FF land. And even if it is, then the user interface sucks and needs to get fixed anyway.

Instead of worrying about semantics, foundries need to be focusing on the reality of trying to get a student to value his fonts over his beer. Is this package of nice, decent, useable fonts worth more to me this semester than wasting my money on booze or whatever? You'd better well convince me, cuz I'm getting thirsty and my broadband is calling out to me to download something.

paul d hunt's picture

P22 has an educational pack that is available to university design labs, but it is not marketed to students directly. We've been thinking of updating it to be more versatile, but haven't quite got around to it yet...

Si_Daniels's picture

>The ONLY way to get students to drop their hard earned money on something they could otherwise get for free is to add value to it.

>EULAs don’t mean squat to students.

So you'll sell one copy and that would be shared amongst all the students - hardly seems worth the effort.

blank's picture

There are really no “Indie packages” for professionals?
I don't think that anyone has said that. Only that there is no low-cost indie pack for students.

Also I think a good Indie pack of say four hundred fonts, would probably be priced pretty high...how many students would pay that?

My thoughts are more that the price would be much lower, in the $100-$200 range, with maybe 100 fonts–Adobe fluffs up their numbers by including fonts that are already part of Mac OS and the CS suite so 400 number is not a target worth shooting for–and hoping to make up the minuscule margin by selling direct and in large volumes. There's also the simple promotional aspect that a foundry gets by having design students working with its fonts as opposed to the usual Helvetica, Univers, Garamond, Caslon, etc. that make up a lot of what I see in design school.

This would be the job of your typography teachers, or at least could be part of the typography class...

They can only do so much. And at a small school like mine, that's only twelve faces getting covered in a semester, many of which will be the old standards.

EULAs don’t mean squat to students... File-sharing has proven that beyond a doubt...The ONLY way to get students to drop their hard earned money on something they could otherwise get for free is to add value...

The value here would be getting a sensible collection with useful documentation along with the time saved by not scrounging through every font collection floating around the net for indie fonts. If I had the option of getting one good package at a good price–And no, I don't think Adobe's package is worth buying–I might be likely to stop storing 50,000+ fonts on my iPod and another 5,000 on my laptop.

P22 has an educational pack that is available to university design labs, but it is not marketed to students directly.

Do many students even work in school labs anymore? Here at the Corcoran design students are requited have Powerbooks and the CS2 suite, and what computers the school has are mostly for high-end 3D or video, and thus have no fonts that didn't ship with the CS2 suite.

Si_Daniels's picture

>I don’t think that anyone has said that. Only that there is no low-cost indie pack for students.

Sorry you missed my point - you asked "Are there indie font collections for students? If not, why?"

My answer is, no. Why? because there are no indie font collections for anyone.

thierry blancpain's picture

Karsten Luecke: «Ehem, you are not allowed to use educational versions of software this way either …»
as far as i know, this part changed this year for germany, austria and switzerland - so with anything bought this year, you're right, yes. my knowledge is that before, it was legaly to do so.

sii, i think everybody understands the small foundries fear of having their fonts spread over p2p-networks. BUT, fact is, they already are! you can get pretty much ANYTHING, even rare typefaces like didot elder. so its not a question of IF they are there, its a question of "are there alternatives for students" who are also possible future customers of indie foundries. of course there's the typical "use system fonts or buy one font per month, because you cant afford more", but we all know that the reality is different.

in my opinion, underware is still a good example: if a foundry can achieve a good image with trendsetters, many people will follow. i have the sauna-book and im on their website every other week. likewise with ourtype, i attended a talk with fred smeijers and loved their sansa and their website.

some kind of "indie font collection for students" could have the same effect for the part-taking foundries. of course its a risk, but the reality right now is that students dont buy many fonts, they just download them. but as small foundries you have a way better image than adobe or linotype ("the small guys" and so on), and i actually think that small foundries could benefit from it.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Well, there are the Indie Font books which come with a CD full of indie fonts.

Hmm. Dan, excuse me if I'm wrong, but the value-add when you use a specific font is the design itself. Isn't it? If a student is going to a file-sharing server looking for a specific font, this student was made aware of the font somewhere else. This student has already been marketed to and is now going about finding it to use it themselves. I'm sorry but you're going to have to do better than that.

I was a student once, I remember how it was, you don't need to tell me. I couldn't even afford a computer of my own, let alone fonts. But students now are buying their own computers, and hopefully software. I always thought it would've been a good idea for the design schools to package a computer with software, including fonts from several foundries.

thierry blancpain's picture

tiffany, at my school we can get a big software collection (including adobe CS2 and many other programs) for like 40$, but there are no fonts (other than the ones included in CS2) - the reason i heard was that its already way too complicated to get the legal stuff right, so adding fonts from multiple foundries would be way too complicated.

the package is only avaiable to mac-users for the same reason..

crossgrove's picture

Any foundry could offer a student discount without specifying which typefaces. Get 30% off when you buy 10 faces, or pick 10 (or 50) from this list, for one price, with proof of enrollment, or whatever. I very much agree there should be student prices for font software, just like there are for other graphic arts software. Every foundry has to decide what prices are appropriate, but it shouldn't present extra problems or dangers to offer this discount; the EULA is still the same, and the student has legit software. Worrying about whether that student will share it is a red herring. Students that pay for their own stuff are not the ones likely to share it.

Tiff, I would say Dan has a point with value added to fonts: specimens and information. We all need to look at what a typeface can do before we spend money on it. Whatever information is provided increases the possibility of a sale, right? Those specimens and samples are essential to combating the dull sameness of everyone using the same safe Adobe fonts until doomsday. Graphic designers in the US are a very conservative lot in my view, and only use type they've seen used a lot before. They obviously need information and examples to take away the fear of the new.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Thierry,

Yes, the legal issues would be the reason it wouldn't work. Foundries will never agree on a EULA. But, they could create a student EULA similar to that found at Blambot. Their EULA for the downloadable fonts stipulates that they cannot be used for commercial projects. Yes, it is a good deal of trust on the part of Blambot, but I think they would've taken the fonts down by now had they thought it wasn't working. Sadly, I don't think this could work. No matter how much we wish for it.

Dan Gayle's picture

Students that pay for their own stuff are not the ones likely to share it.

Precisely! Honest, hardworking students are just that. Honest and hardworking. I say that foundries need to give us a reason to stay honest. Give us a reason to stay loyal and we'll continue that throughout our working careers.

And I'm also kind of elitist about fonts as well. I WANT to have a font that you don't have. It makes me feel superior :)

If a student is going to a file-sharing server looking for a specific font, this student was made aware of the font somewhere else.

Are you aware of how fonts are distributed via the file sharing networks? Particularly the Bit Torrent networks? They're mostly distributed in bulk. You normally don't download JUST Garamond Pro. You download the entire Adobe library in one fell swoop.

So a student who does this has a grab-and-go mentality. They don't always even know what they are getting.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Dan, all:

Yes, I'm very aware of how the fonts are distributed. There is an entire new thread here which we could start. But it takes years of education and honesty to get a collector (student or otherwise) to do the right thing. It takes the teachers be responsible enough when they are teaching typography to spend a little time showing the students how to license type, how to read and understand a EULA. Then the student must adopt the right attitude. (This could easily be applied to a boss/employee scenario.)

Everyone says we need more education, but no one listens when little bits of education are offered. Typophile is proof that there is education available. It is up to us, the typophiles, to take what we learn here and do our utmost to apply it to our daily lives.

I think Thierry mentioned the EULA because of the same reason in regards to what he said to me.

The negative answer: But, honestly, if a student can't respect a EULA without having to be given a golden carrot too, then the chances are that student will never be a client to a foundry anyway.

The postivie answer: Many foundries know that marketing is important. For instance, Veer does a great job at appealing to designers, student and otherwise. Is that what you mean by marketing Dan? FontShop does marketing as well. They have their monthly newsletters with juicy information about a variety of topics and they usually include a free font to boot. The smaller foundries do what they can for marketing, but they can't afford to do it as big as Veer. That is expecting too much. At the end of the day the value comes from the font itself. I may love the Veer catalogues, but the catalogues aren't my tools, the fonts are. I need to know those fonts are technically sound as well as visually appealing. I look to large and small foundries alike. I am sucked in by pretty marketing, all designers are, but it is the pretty typefaces that keep me interested. That doesn't take a lot of marketing. It just takes a decent site with a good type tester.

Dan, maybe I'm not following what you are meaning to say.

So, for instance, if FontShop started adding the history of the fonts on the preview pages you would consider that a value-add? I really want to understand.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Before anyone thinks me unfair, I want to add:

A huge problem, as I see it, is that students are very font saavy and aware of everything out there. It is a huge burden on them and it creates a desire to use these great fonts in their projects. But, the burden is never lifted by the teachers or those around them. So the students find themselves having to have the fonts. (I went through this myself.)

I personally think that there should be a solution to this problem. One obvious solution is that the teacher's alleviate some of this undo pressure by assigning the fonts to the students which they can choose from to solve the problem. Another solution is to have the department head approach a foundry and make a deal with them based on x-number of workstations. It has to be done at that personal of a level. I think.

blank's picture

Well, there are the Indie Font books which come with a CD full of indie fonts.

I was thinking about this too, but aren't most of the included types wild display types? I don't recall them being especially versatile, but it's been at least a year since I looked.

But it takes years of education and honesty to get a collector (student or otherwise) to do the right thing.

Not necessarily. I know plenty of professional designers with massive font collections which they treat sort of like specimen books; fire up the font management tool, see what a headline looks like in every font sold by Adobe, Bitstream, Linotype, Monotype, FontShop, House, etc. and then buy the one or two that they like. I'm not claiming this is right, just that collectors do buy type.

The point that several people have made is that getting foundries to agree on a EULA is the big issue I hadn't thought of, and you're all right, in many cases it would probably be a dealbreaker. Now I think it might be better to just set up a student-oriented type site, with links to the free font sections of the indie foundries out there, and weekly articles featuring specimens. The site could be supported with advertising, cost less to put together, and not be the logistical nightmare that trying to get a lot of indy foundries to agree on a package would be. I know a lot of these exist already in FAQ form on the major type/design forums, but doing something a little more substantial might work better.

paul d hunt's picture

Now I think it might be better to just set up a student-oriented type site, with links to the free font sections of the indie foundries out there...

faq_free

...and weekly articles featuring specimens.

something like this?

Si_Daniels's picture

Related thread...

http://typophile.com/node/17444

Reposting my "idea" from that thread...

Realizing that design students are the future customers of their work a consortium of leading, respected font makers has put together the “Educational Font Program” font rental service for college design departments worldwide. For a low annual fee subscribers get access to hundreds of high quality fonts for student and faculty use. A tiered program to fit any budget, fonts are provided in managed sets, including “classic text faces”, “Best of the Bauhaus”, and the ever popular “Typophile Picks of 2003”.

Each font set includes best sellers from foundries like X, Y and Z. These are the full complete retail OpenType versions of the fonts in question, the only difference being that they include a unique serial number encoded within each font file and font name linking the font to an educational establishment. For example “Gill Sans” would become “Gill Sans Ed4567”, where 4567 is a unique identifier associated with the school.

The fonts are managed by a custom version of “N”, the leading font management utility. The utility includes advanced font auditing technology to help ensure that all fonts installed on the school’s workstations are legally licensed. Using the tool administrators set parameters to allow or restrict additional font installation or purge unlicensed fonts.

In addition subscribers also receive access to printed and online material describing the art and science of font design and development, and for a small additional fee a real living breathing type designer will visit the school and give a lively presentation on type design to the staff and students.

Choz Cunningham's picture

Off the top of my head...

Students will buy fonts, not just download them. The catch is, you have to compete with free, which is not impossible. Make a pretty box. Include enough fonts to get a design student through 4 years. Make sure they are all 'high-tech' enough that it takes the students a few years to exploit all the OpenType nuances. Get it under a hundred dollars. Include a beautiful pdf with histories of the fonts and bio of the living, working designers. Include another pdf of the OT manual. Include an autoplay installer, and a specimen poster and printed book. Include bookmarks to the foundries' sites, as well as to a like-branded site that lets users get new styles every semester from a unique ID in the box (or DL package). USe the same ID to go to allow access to a 'typophile jr.'-like site where the students can get support from each other and the creating foundries and trade ideas on what the fonts can do. This also creates a great place to analyze what goes into the next rev.

The next step is get it into university bookstores, where they can pick it up and grab it. Give free copies out to facilty, and make sure it is quality enough for them to reccommend. Have it available to be purchased simultaneously online, and if possible, have a 4x more expensive version, for non-students to increase the perceived value.

If all of the above sounds like way too much work, it might be. The website sounds like a great place to start and to learn if the idea has momentum.

Keep in mind one of the things that keeps some students from not paying for things that are downloadable is the image of moviemakers, software developers (Gates, Carmack, etc.) and musicians as insanely rich guys. It shouldnt be too hard to not put that across for Type Designers. Just not having the name 'Adobe' on it will probably help the humanity of the potential costomers kick in.

When my own purchasable fonts come out soon, I am planning on having a student license available, which, unlike licenses, will not be transferrable. However, it will be viable for commercial work; my hope is that it will develop lifetime customers. Ask me in a year or two if it worked.

Choz Cunningham
!Exclamachine Type Foundry
The Snark

brampitoyo's picture

Controversy aside, I found that contacting the foundry personally always helps.

missgiggles's picture

exactly! tahst what i've always wanted Jr Typophile. for like minded student who are still in the process of doing their degree. thanks Choz. You said it! i always tend to use www.dafont.com

Si_Daniels's picture

>exactly! tahst what i’ve always wanted Jr Typophile.

I think that means we have a real student customer. Okay how much would you be willing to pay, 50, 100, 150 quid?

.00's picture

I don't know how I feel about a lot of this.

The educator in me says that the student should be able to use a set of classic fonts that the school provides, and be encouraged to draw any idiosyncratic display they need as lettering. At Parsons, the students have access to a great selection of software and some very decent fonts on every university workstation.

As to students purchasing software (fonts included) I hear students talk all the time of going in halves or in threes to spread the cost out and then share the software. When I point out that is is not quite legal, they usually just giggle.

I also have had more than one graduate student ask for free copy of ClearviewHwy for use on their thesis project, I comply but only after requiring a lot of documentation from them and their professors. They also must sign an education license, which has some fairly demanding terms in it. It is interesting how the interest in free fonts drops off once you ask for a little proof of commitment from them and their supervising professors.

missgiggles's picture

yes Sii, i would be willing to pay but hey ho, i'd rather pay £50 than £150 lol :D who wouldn't eh? :D

Si_Daniels's picture

Okay, £50 - for how many fonts?

Cheers, Si

blank's picture

What I would be willing to pay would correlate directly with what fonts I'm getting. For a collection of 100 display fonts I might only pay $100, because I don't use them very often anyway. But for a collection of ten good families and a handful of display types I could see spending $200.

.00's picture

I don't see that as a student you need "10 good families". And I don't see how you are going to get them for $200. Maybe three good families for $200. (You only have a handful of portfolio pieces on your site. Is it lack of good families getting in your way?)

Getting a student discount is one thing, getting all you can is another.

blank's picture

Ok, ten is probably pushing it. But on a student income (which was $200 on last year's W-2) three for $200 is probably pushing it. How about five, but only one really big family and make the rest simpler ones?

Choz Cunningham's picture

Keep in mind there are display fonts which are quite verstile. I try to distinguish them from decorative fonts, like what I am usually into. If there is a need and enough demand, someone vendor will meet the price point.

With an income of $200 is one likely to think the best crack at the student market would be while they have school loans? So that means it needs to be considered textbook quality, so that it is justified to slip in while the student is buying $800 in text books and a $200 printer? If a teacher prescribes a font collection, the price is far less of an object, as it becomes a "school thing", not part of dorm-life starvation, for many of the more financially assisted ones. Of course, you'll have to then update the package annualy to prevent used sales from cutting in on your racket.

So, perhaps I should stick to one point, for now. How many faces and how many fonts does a design major need for a college education?

How many sans? How many serif? One solid representive from each era of type? One major superfamily*, to show the relationships of 50 various weights and cuts and their affect on design?

*I think thats the current term for a family of families?

Choz Cunningham
!Exclamachine Type Foundry
The Snark

Dan Gayle's picture

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but if you're a typical graphic design student with a Mac and the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Word, don't you already have quite a selection of fonts?

Example: Helvetica Neue, Myriad & Minion Pros, a bunch of Monotype Gothics, Caslon, Jenson, Garamond (Maybe even Premier Pro), etc.

What I would want, and what I would pay for, is a unique selection. A superfamily would be cool. So would a really unique multiple use text/display font. (Maybe something funky, yet useful, like Tribute from Emigre)

That's why an Indy Font selection would be desired anyways, right?

Choz Cunningham's picture

I tihnk a sample superfamily could be a really (fun) educational tool to justify the purchase, and sometihng that most students couldn't afford outside a 'special'

I ithnk one of the things that jpad wanted was an escape from the barrage of word/adobe fonts. Or, at least, to plant fresher seeds in the students' minds. Tribute is a great example of a display font with a very broad potential. What I'd love to see is a disc that's well enough marketed to its target that the indies are trying to get on it.

So when's the release date, jpad? :)

Choz Cunningham
!Exclamachine Type Foundry
The Snark

brampitoyo's picture

Hmm, although I wouldn't exactly say that Tribute is a display face, it does have a wide range of usage. They're quite underused, too – so, indie, like you put it.

blank's picture

Forgive me if I’m wrong, but if you’re a typical graphic design student with a Mac and the Adobe Creative Suite and Microsoft Word, don’t you already have quite a selection of fonts?

Yup. But beyond the CS fonts (no MS Office on my machines, and there never will be.) I'm still interested in licensing more stuff for school use, and I generally find indie fonts to be a lot more interesting than the typefaces from Adobe, which feel like a massive collection of book faces and workhorses.

With an income of $200 is one likely to think the best crack at the student market would be while they have school loans?

Probably. I see a lot of senior design students prepare for graduation by buying Powermacs, piles of design books, and loads of fonts just because the student loan rates are so low right now. Anything I buy is coming from loan money (since scholarships don't nearly cover tuition) and this being my second time in school and my second career, I'm pretty anal about my spending at times.

So, perhaps I should stick to one point, for now. How many faces and how many fonts does a design major need for a college education?

That depends on one's major, school, and professors. While I'm sure some schools are happy to leave students to the fundamentals, others are really trying to draw attention to their programs, and expect students to really push boundaries and do wild new stuff and want to see a lot of hot new type in use.

I ithnk one of the things that jpad wanted was an escape from the barrage of word/adobe fonts. Or, at least, to plant fresher seeds in the students’ minds.

Bingo. I've seen what availability did in terms of homogenizing web typography, and I often see students who don't pirate type fall into using the same Adobe fonts over and over. This concept came out of a couple recent discussions, and is in part a reaction to Lupton's free font manifesto, which I find interesting but reject because I find it to be anti-capitalist.

So when’s the release date, jpad? :)

It depends. I just changed my major to plain vanilla graphic design, which means that I'll have to take more classes than I was planning over the next year-and-a-half. I'll probably start a web site of useful resources for design students this winter and do a bigger relaunch next summer if it seems like something I can get capital for. I'll have to explore licensing a lot more before I try to put an actual together.

Choz Cunningham's picture

As far as the licensing I think you will need to make "your package only" licenses that are consistent, then invite Indies that you want on board, selling the market to them as much as the other way around. If I paid money for a disc of fonts, and each had it's own terms, I'd be more than a little irked. On the other hand, I wouldn't mind if there were some editable fonts to learn from and build upon, like 'Lab's free font or that one from SIL. But I would expect consistency of product amongst any restricted ones, whatever that might be. I'd suggest talking to a very small number of those Indies you would want to include first, and draft a license for them, that they can collaborate on, then use that amongst the rest.

Now, it's tangent time...

is in part a reaction to Lupton’s free font manifesto, which I find interesting but reject because I find it to be anti-capitalist.

I neither reject, nor endorse. It still too early in the game for me to take a stand, and I imagine it won't matter either way. No matter what I or others here feel, that free (as in hippie) fonts will take the place of the commercial workhorses. These fonts take advantage of the legal ignorance of the creative factor if type design and its reflection in US (and hence, worldwide) intellectual property policy on fonts. Eventually, a lower priced product will win, all other qualities being equal, and plain-jane book fonts will become absolute commodities. It is just too hard to compete with free.

The inevitability comes from the fact that once one person does the work its there, forever, so free code only grows. It's okay, I suppose. The market will change afterwards and like how Sun, Redhat and IBM have adapted to FOSS, we may adapt to FOSF? I sorta don't even mind (maybe), as part of it is retaliation by those who pushed copyright too far first.

Speaking of tangents and FOSS, I have to say, this Firefox 2 auto spell checking is quite nice.

-Choz

missgiggles's picture

hey Sii, here's the problem though.i dont know, as a student and not too experienced about buying and selling fonts and how much they SHOULD cost or how much you should pay for a certain font, its quality etc so here's where we students my get cheated. I might have to ask my tutor about how many fonts would £50 worth should be for that answer or i could just be unreasonable and say loads of fonts :D

Choz Cunningham's picture

The idea of what something should cost is endlessly debatable, and in the end comes down to the least someone will pay, and the least the owner will give it up for. But experience will help one understand the range of reasonable prices, and customers that end up thinking they paid too much will be angry and not repeat, so what a tutor or teacher feels is reasonable has some value, esp. before something goes to market.

I think that what jpad is suggesting here is something very "introductory priced". So, compared to the market, whatever price it may be will be very aggressive (meaning relatively a bargain), to capture a new market. If this were to fly, it would be because indie foundries are creating "loss leaders" to garner attention to their work.

Choz Cunningham
!Exclamachine Type Foundry
The Snark

Dan Gayle's picture

Yup. But beyond the CS fonts (no MS Office on my machines, and there never will be.) I’m still interested in licensing more stuff for school use, and I generally find indie fonts to be a lot more interesting than the typefaces from Adobe, which feel like a massive collection of book faces and workhorses.

I agree completely. After posting my earlier comment, I emptied out Font Explorer and loaded only the available system/MS/Adobe fonts. Boy, is that depressing. There are a ton of classic workhorse fonts. And a ton of clichéd fonts. And maybe two that are actually interesting enough to use. (99% are missing small caps, which are my favorite parts. Shame.)

Just enough typefaces to learn about type, and just enough typefaces to be bored to tears. Don't get me wrong, I love Jenson and Garamond (with their small caps), but Modern #20, Copperplate Bold, and Gill Sans aren't cutting it for me.

Gimme Indie!

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