Is it just me?

gerald_giampa's picture

What's up with this? This site crashes my computer. Finally I found a place where it tells me to download Flash. I did, it said I already had that version of flash installed.

What gives? Is it just me? Am I having a bad hair day?

I am trying to go is Red Rooster. Who is font pool?


Also does anybody know anything about this foundry? Are they big time operators or what?

Maybe Nick knows something?

gerald_giampa's picture


Tell me what you think about 25% royalties from distributors in this day and age?

gerald_giampa's picture


25% to the designer/foundry and 75% to the

gerald_giampa's picture

I was offered that. They want an exclusive. In other words they did not want me to sell to anyone else, including end users. Sound bad?

No "minimum royalty stream guarantee".

.00's picture

Hypothetically speaking, any royalty arrangement that gives the author of the work a minority share is still based in an antiquated manufacturing model.

If the reseller took a design from an author and had to invest time and money to manufacture the product, well, they are the ones taking the calculated risk, and are entitled to the majoirity of the income.

Since most authors of digital fonts not only have designed the work, but has also produced it, they are entitled to a majority of the income. What risk does the reseller assume in this model? One can argue that the author is taking a bigger risk by entering into the agreement. How much promotion is worth giving away 35, 45, or 50 percent? Or more. And will your fonts get lost in the mass promotion of a typical reseller?

gerald_giampa's picture

All of these are good points. Early offers paid smaller percentages, ITC for instance, but in that case we got a "most favourable up front signing fee", they did all the work. ITC made a big event of a new releases. This was not exclusive. We released our own version of the same title, same artwork.

The other option would have been to sub-license the font back.

Another company paid $5000.00 up front. Another $20,000 but they only paid a "dime" (their verbiage) per font. However they guaranteed 200,000 fonts would be sold. Add that up, pretty good deal.

These were strictly signing fees and were never subtracted from royalties. Only one of them was exclusive.

My thoughts are that resellers are a "thing" soon to be of the past. Either that, or the type designers. How can a type designer make a living from 25%, giving an exclusive, with no guarantee?

Risky business, no stupid.

gerald_giampa's picture


Since most authors of digital fonts not only have designed the work, but has also produced it, they are entitled to a majority of the income. What risk does the reseller assume in this model? One can argue that the author is taking a bigger risk by entering into the agreement.

This is good point, also in our case we have a proven product. Well advertised by ourselves. Some of which have been common currency in North American trade markets for 100 years. We are speaking of market proven products. People buy them. Believe me.

I suppose the only thing that might be said about our fonts in their present state is they are preparing themselves for OpenType. In addition I more aware of the subtle aspects of European accents. Especially Scandinavian accents. So some of these issues are getting addressed. These are improvements under way. That said, the accent issue is nothing many American foundries should be proud of.

And please, remember I am against OpenType so don't tell anyone what we are doing. OK.

dan_reynolds's picture

Why are you against OpenType?

gerald_giampa's picture

More work, no money in it.

dan_reynolds's picture

I've just started to develop Typefaces, and I've never used OpenType (I'm still in the Fontographer stage).

But, since I haven't developed oodles of old faces that would have to be updated for the new technology, I'm impressed with the new possibilities that are seemingly available with OpenType. I'd like to work with it.

How is this technological advance different from previous ones? Does everyone hate change (and the reworking it requires) once they reach a certain stage of comfort/success?

John Nolan's picture

You know, I just finished combining a postscript italic with a swash italic to make a new Opentype font with Fontlab. I added swash, ligature, discretionary ligs and alt forms features.

I hadn't done this before, I'm not a type designer or a programmer - I'm a puppeteer for goodness sake - and, from start to finish it took me about 8 hours. Now that I've flatten that learning curve a bit, I figure I could do another one in less than four hours.

Given all the time that goes into a typeface, the extra time seems minimal.

gerald_giampa's picture


Look I agree, eight hours is not long. But when you spend eight hours for 90 days re-working your library you would be inclined to think otherwise.

Why bother propping up the underpinnings of monolithic corporations and their crippled applications that can't handle the real basics of type in the first place. For instance, rubber type, what's that all about? These programs were planned by strippers and photo comp folk, not by people that really knew anything about type.

Besides, how long do your think the customer will say, gee look at this, I have magic ligatures? Not long. They will just take it all for granted. For that matter, these trained fonts, with their nifty gimmicks will make redundant highly skilled typesetters. Now, wait just a minute, where have they gone now?

It further erodes the already over stressed economics of type design by increasing their work load without compensation. In the end type designers will all be eating out of dumpsters.

You hear people saying, "save the farmers," "save the fisherman". When do you expect a public outcry of "save the type designer". Never, that's when, never.

What happened to photographers after all those "stock art photographs" drove them into poverty. Next time you walk down the street and tell me what you see, bums, winos, your future before you if you make OpenType fonts.

Don't you care about your children. Your self respect?

Your wine decisions will be made by how many beer bottles you find.

Here we are all busy working ourselves out of employment, already the children of photographers and typesetters are suffering from malnutrition, teeth rotting, living with street rats. Think about it.

But, oh no, we are going to work even harder to reduce the already few jobs to be found for our fellow workers.

That's it, lets unionize.

By the way, can I stay at your house tonight?

Stephen Coles's picture

Hi Gerald. The Font Pool is an independent compendium of
fonts and foundries, cashing in on web search results.

Red Rooster is a digital foundry known for their revivals.
I'd advise viewing their stuff at their official site or MyFonts
rather than The Font Pool.

Stephen Coles's picture

Do you mean 25% to the designer/foundry and 75% to the
reseller or the other way around?

Stephen Coles's picture

The only resellers that could justify taking that large a cut are
those that promote with quality and quantity. Veer comes to mind.
FontShop is another with their FontBook and upcoming website.
No other large distributor really does a decent job of promotion.

But 25% seems low - even for those two. Did someone
actually offer you this, or are we speaking hypothetically?

Stephen Coles's picture

I should qualify my post a bit.

1. I don't know what either of those resellers offer.
2. Resellers and foundries are potentially very different entities.
I would call Red Rooster a foundry and Veer a reseller.
3. Public discussion on royalty agreements is a touchy issue. I'll
assume now that we are speaking hypothetically as most contracts
are private information.

Stephen Coles's picture

Things to consider:

How are they going to spend your money? Do they have a
printed catalog? Does it suck? Do they have a decent website
that offers respectful showings of your types? How much traffic
does the site see?

How large is the vendor? Do they already have a huge library
in which your stuff could get buried? Will they guarantee that
your fonts will get representative play in their promotions?

I would ask which resellers, if any, also sell their fonts.

Something to read.

Stephen Coles's picture

James brings up a good point and another category I should
add to that list of things to consider:

Does the vendor offer font development assistance or do they
just take the files you give and plop them in their collection?

Stephen Coles's picture

Nice quote, Gerald. That is the general essence of type design today, not just OpenType.

Stephen Coles's picture


For me, the benefits of OpenType are obvious and substantial.
The trouble is convincing joe customer of those benefits. It's still
a fairly new technology and the masses aren't out looking for
OpenType fonts, so they generally aren't willing to pay more
for the work that is invested in them.

On the other hand, I do know of a couple foundries who don't
advertise OT fonts on their website but get quite a few requests
for them.

As far as change is concerned, remember that you're talking to
Gerald Giampa who is an old salt and a master of metal. He's
probably still weary from the change to digital typography and I
don't blame him. Fortunately, like John just said, the OT shift is
many times simpler and I think Gerald would be pleased with
what it can do for his typefaces.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Don't forget Reputation. It's part of the equation that sits
somewhere between Promotion and Saturation, but it shouldn't
be underestimated.

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