Type Collection for Education

Ciotóg's picture

I have been given the opportunity to choose a new type collection for our two-year Graphic Design Program. Currently we only have about 40 typefaces to choose from (thanks to our IT department — none of which have a complete family), which we all know that isn't NEARLY enough for a design program. Right now students have been encouraged to either buy their own, or download free fonts.

Should I go with the Adobe Collection? Monotype? Linotype? I need some feedback.

Students and Professionals— are/were you happy with your type collection from your program? What would you change if you could?

Keep in mind that there is a budget. The new type library must be available in four Mac labs, plus instructor's machines. Therefore, I need a versatile and affordable collection.

Thanks! Any ammo I can get would be appreciated,

~Michael

Reed Reibstein's picture

A few months back I searched for the best set of type I could find for approximately $1000. I looked at a number of collections -- the ones on Veer (with ShinnType and Fountain being my two favorites), Adobe's (terrific, although many of the fonts within are widely used/overrused), Linotype's, FontShop's, PsyOps (another favorite -- they do have a library, just not a well-advertised one, so contact them to find out pricing).

I wanted a collection that was very high quality, diverse, and had many typefaces that could be used for body text. The best option I found (which I am now the proud owner of) was StormType's Type Library 2.0 Pro, which is every typeface he makes and all in OpenType format. While it was quite expensive, the incredible quality of each of his types (Serapion, Sebastian, Jannon, John Baskerville, Splendid, Farao ... I could go on) made it totally worth it. As he says on the site, each font comes out to just two euros. While other collections were cheaper, this was an extraordinary number of fonts, nearly all of which I would have bought separately, so it was a no-brainer. The only small gap in the collection is the lack of currently popular sans-serifs: although he has several, all of his are quirky in his trademark fantastic way, which might be a slight problem when looking for something that blends into the background (an identity, for example).

Storm's other collections are cheaper (and not quite as good value, IMO), but I couldn't see myself not getting his whole library. There is also a cheaper TTF_Single version of the entire library available, which may be fine since only some of his typefaces actually make use of OpenType's features.

I don't know about licensing for more than one computer, since I got the single license, but it should be easy to find out by e-mailing. In an e-mail exchange with me, he indicated that a new version of the Type Library, 3.0, with all the typefaces he's made recently (Anselm, etc.) should be out soon, so you may want to wait to get it. However, the current library is amazing as it stands.

kegler's picture

pardon the shameless self promotion, but for display types relevant to design history:
http://www.p22.com/products/EDU_Pack.html

Stefan H's picture

Reed Reibstein,

Thanks for picking both Fountain and Psy/Ops as your favourites... sinca almost all of my typefaces are within those two foundries. With a risk of being "partial in this case", I would go for smaller independatnt foundries, since many of them actually carries good quality typefaces and much more unique than the typefaces from the bigger foundries. Storm is of course also an excellent choice.

Nick Shinn's picture

I looked into this a few years ago.
You may be interested in my methodology, if not the final selection of fonts, which is a bit dated by now (pre-OpenType), and Canada-centric.
http://www.shinntype.com/Writing/PerfcSet.pdf

Ciotóg's picture

Thanks Richard.

We met briefly at TypeCon this year. I have sent many students in your direction. Would you know if foundries, such as yours would give educational discounts? After all, these are future clients we're talking about. Could be a worthy investment.

Looking forward to Buffalo.

Cheers,

Michael

blank's picture

Linotype is selling the Adobe library for $1,000 off again.

Bitstream Type Odyssey is a nice deal, with ~1400 fonts for ~$1450, licensed for twenty users. Reed’s suggestion of picking up the Storm Type collection is interesting: on one hand your students won’t be using most of the “classics,” one the other they’ll end up with some awesome portfolios that really stand out because nobody is using the classics.

Ciotóg's picture

Thank you all for the great advice/feedback so far. I agree that P22, Storm, Fountain, Psy/Ops and Mr. Shinn's collections are all spectacular (my favs as well). I'm conflicted about not utilizing the "classics". While I agree that the smaller foundries offer the more cutting edge faces and to James' point ‘they would all have awesome portfolios’, it may be construde as hypacritical to not offer the classics, since we preach about how wonderful the five classic typefaces the first year.

Perhaps it's something that needs to develop over time (and budgets).

Thanks again for commenting, if anthing else comes to mind — post away. I present on Tuesday afternoon.

All the best,

Michael

Stephen Coles's picture

There are also such things as "modern classics". FontShop offers a very reasonable student discount on FontFonts. Contact them for details.

Ciotóg's picture

Point taken.

blank's picture

...it may be construde as hypacritical to not offer the classics, since we preach about how wonderful the five classic typefaces the first year.

I don’t see anything wrong with explaining the classics but encouraging students to use contemporary faces for their contemporary work. In the world of “fine art” education students have their brains crammed with thousands of years of classical ideas and techniques, but they’re usually expected to express themselves in ways that are appropriate to their own times.

Ciotóg's picture

I understand what you're saying, but I don't think it's comparitavely apples to apples. If one only had Helvetica and Adobe Garamond to work with he/she could express themselves approprietly and still please their clients. In my opinion, those typefaces are broad enough to reach any audience effectively if used correctly. I won't argue that whatever your selling would definitely look more updated using the Anselm family, just that they're staples and need to be reinforced in the classroom.

Jackie Frant's picture

Maybe it's time to consider a type design class and have each student design and digitize a new face that would be the school's exclusive property.

Giving the task of conventional serif and san serif faces, display faces, etc.

Or try to see if your budget allows for two libraries - one conventional - like a Bitstream, Adobe, Linotype, etc. and one for display (and better design) purposes like those you are enjoying, Fountain, PsyOps, Blue Vinal, T-26, P22 and just for the hell of it, I'm partial to Letterhead and House Industires...

William Berkson's picture

The Cambridge Collection from Bitstream is cheap and good quality. Adobe Type Classics for Learning was a great bargain. I'm having difficulty getting it now on their web site, but you could e-mail them. The new storefront of Ascender is worth looking at also, as they are marketing partial sets of good fonts at greatly reduced costs.

kegler's picture

Would you know if foundries, such as yours would give educational discounts?
P22 does offer a 20% student discount but I can't speak for other foundries. It is always worth inquiring.

Don McCahill's picture

Michael

How many computers in the four Mac labs? That is going to have a bearing on how many licenses you need.

Don

dan_reynolds's picture

Linotype offers a 30% student discount. T-26 may still have student discounts, too.

Ciotóg's picture

Don,

Currently we would need licensing for approximately 90 work stations/users. That would include all student, faculty and adjunct machines.

~Michael

Stephen Coles's picture

That sort of volume could increase your discount.

William Berkson's picture

Michael, from what you say, it might be that getting on the phone to the different vendors and discussing and negotiating will get you the best result. You could probably get a nice library or two from the back list of the bigger vendors, and some snazzy new stuff from smaller shops.

Don McCahill's picture

The reason I asked about your volume was that list price for 90 seats of only the Adobe library would be $50,000. If that is the kind of money available, then you are in one ball park. If that figure is going to make your Dean throw up, then you might have to look at less expensive solutions. (But even 90 copies of Adobe Type Classics for Education is going to cost $9000, and that would be a fairly limited selection.)

HaleyFiege's picture

I went to OCAD and they made us buy the Adobe Library.

jupiterboy's picture

I'd do Storm and Fountain, then pick up Univers.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Don how did you get $50,000 ?

Adobe Font Folio 11 is $2,599 (20 Workstations) x 5 = $12,599 (100 Workstations)

boardman's picture

@ Nick Shinn: Any chance you'll update your Perfect Set PDF? In fact, I'd love to see a whole thread here about the perfect set of 10 must-haves.

Nick Shinn's picture

That's unlikely, Andrew, unless someone commissions the work.
A lot of research, calculation, and negotiation.

Don McCahill's picture

> Don how did you get $50,000 ?

Actually, Adobe's page says the $2599 price is for the 5 licence model. The 20 licence cost $8999. and the 10 costs $4999. So it is 8999 x 5 = $45,000, or (8999 x 4) + 4999 = $41,000. [But I did mess up on the total, costing out to 110 licenses instead of 90.]

Miss Tiffany's picture

Ha. Ok. My math skills are a little shot. Thanks for writing it out.

Chris Rugen's picture

Michael, speaking as a former student (6 years past), I recommend depth over breadth and a willingness to teach the fonts. Where I went to school, we had a pretty decent, but largely default type collection. Often, we'd be told "use Univers" or "use Sabon" but only occasionally would we get any explanation/history/context. I encourage you to choose types that are 1) practically useful, and 2) pedagogically useful. Type is so often the voice of a movement but a subtle one, and giving people Garamond, Minion, Sabon, Centaur, Jenson, Janson, Times, etc. is all well and good, but the full knowledge of a few typefaces is infinitely more valuable than access to many unknown choices...at least in my opinion. Those students who wish to exlore more contemporary and rarified choices will use that foundation you give them to make their decisions. Perhaps I presume too much in my recommendations, after all, you are clearly mindful as a teacher. However, I know that I ended up flailing around a bit more than was helpful in a field of misunderstood choices.

As for whose collection? Not sure. Adobe offers huge collections, but there's a fair amount of fluff in some of them (novelty fonts not as useful in an academic setting). I'd sift through the list for things that seem worthwhile. On the other hand, while collections like Storm's are compact and superb, they may not give the 'fundamentals' as well. Frankly, I'd mix and match for your ideal set, rather than bulk-buy for maximal font-to-finance ratios. And I'd avoid of-the-moment fonts or that's all you'll see in every project. Let the students get those on their own, if need be.

If a one-stop library is what you want, then I agree with Jackie's recommendation of one traditional, and one young & fresh.

Hope this ramble helps. Just one designer's perspective.

AndrewSipe's picture

Chris is on to something and I'm surprised it wasn't mentioned earlier.

Don't just get a bunch of "classic" fonts that look the same, and don't get a bunch of fonts d'jour either. Find a collection that represents all the common styles (Serif, Sans Serif, Script, etc...) and ones that represent the different sub styles of those families (Geometic, Grotesque, Humanistic, etc...) Teach the differences, so that when they need to choice a style, they'll know what to look for regardless of how large or small that selection is. You don't need a million fonts, you just need enough to teach these designers how to design with.

Also make time to teach these new designers how to research and buy fonts. A lesson I had to learn on my own. Maybe set aside part of that budget and each year have the students as a class buy a family of fonts for the college. They'll learn how to research and buy, and you'll get a new font every semester .

"Give a student a font and he'll design for a day, Teach a student how to buy and use fonts and he'll design for a lifetime." (I took some liberties, but you get what I'm saying.)

Ciotóg's picture

Thank you all for your insights and suggestions. I have done some more investigating and found that in the near future our school will be offering Adobe Certification in several applications. Given that information — I'm almost positive we will have to utilize the Adobe Library at some point. Until then, I am going to suggest a collection from Storm Type or another small foundry. In the end we'll have the best of both worlds.

I have really enjoyed this discussion, thanks again everyone.

~Michael

Don McCahill's picture

I really like Andrew's suggestion of having money in the budget to buy a new font family every year. As well as teaching the class how to find and acquire fonts (legitimately) it will keep the library from getting too stale. (And you will be able to buy non-Adobe fonts as well, to round out the library.)

AndrewSipe's picture

I just thought of another suggestion. Have your students create a budget request for a new font. Walk them through the process so they know how to do it when they get their own design jobs. Another harsh lesson I had to learn after school. I still have friends who are afraid to ask for budget money to buy fonts or even software because they don't know how to ask. These are things that designers need to learn, whether they work for a design firm, freelance or in-house.

It's sad, I have a 4 years bachelor of fine arts in design and I'm still learning "basic" skills that a designer should know. Makes me wonder what I spent $20 grand on?

Sharon Van Lieu's picture

I think Process Type's fonts would make a nice set to add to a more classical selection.

Sharon

boardman's picture

Nick, that's too bad about the updated Perfect Set but I understand completely. I think a thread about a New Top 10 might be apropos...

In terms of this thread, I agree with Asvetic - having students understand that fonts are resource-intensive investments (like all software and applications) might be interesting for them. My bet is that very few students know what it takes to research, purchase, and maintain a font on a system (let alone create one). I certainly did not; but then, I printed out my Honors thesis, written on a Mac SE, at the local copy center for $1.00 per laser-printed page.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

I just struck me that you're probably have to buy software for all 90 workstations. There are some very good fonts bundled with Adobe Creative Suite.

Don McCahill's picture

> I just struck me that you’re probably have to buy software for all 90 workstations.

I thought that was a given. If I thought he was going to buy one set and copy it throughout the school, I wouldn't have bothered to help out in the thread.

Learning Objective 4

Teach the students how to pirate the artistic work of others in their own field.

blank's picture

Learning Objective 4

Teach the students how to pirate the artistic work of others in their own field.

That one is mandatory for graduation at my college.

Nick Shinn's picture

It depends what is meant by "standing on the shoulders of giants" :-)

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