more font awareness

Ch's picture

i'd like to tie together a few threads i've been contributing my 2 cents to recently.

i began a thread about "the future of licensing" =
http://typophile.com/node/42540
and have read with much interest several other threads about licensing, originality,
and credit where credit is due, most recently "a cheater" =
http://typophile.com/node/43240

in various threads i've described my own evolution from reckless young upstart to respectful professional. not having formally studied design, my knowledge of fonts and the work of font designers has evolved slowly with exposure to fonts and design writing, with a lot of time reading and following links on typophile.

when i was young and reckless i did what so many students do : i grabbed whatever i could. as i matured and began to better understand the complexities of font work, my attitude changed. as i graduated to high-end professional contracts i adopted a policy of legality, despite my frustrations with what i still consider to be illogical and overly restrictive EULA's.

what changed for me ? AWARENESS. i think fonts are traded so easily among friends partly because they remain, in many people's minds, fairly anonymous. this may be hard for some of you to believe, but it's true. you are unsung heroes.

this is an open call to typophile for suggestions on how we can raise awareness in the public, among small and amateur designers, crafters, magazine readers, etc. as to the real work and time that the font designer spends at their craft.

i really appreciate the bio's and histories of designers on myfonts.com.

the FDRC could promote a public campaign along the lines of :
"it took me two years to design this font. it took you two seconds to download it".

maybe i'm naive but, despite my call for EULA reform, i'm on your side.

jupiterboy's picture

I would like to US law changed to reflect more uniformity with international law. I don’t know what group has the determination to get it done, but in my mind this is a next big step.

Miss Tiffany's picture

- Teachers need to accept that they have some responsibility in the solution.
- We all need to admit that the majority of designers can't possibly be completely naive.
- Typophile needs to remain a friendly online forum where people can read and learn. Threads such as "a cheater", in some ways, has us looking like a pack of wolves—I'm guilty here too—ready to devour without hearing all the facts. (Even if the facts we do have are damning.)

pattyfab's picture

We all need to admit that the majority of designers can’t possibly be completely naive.

I agree totally, but bet the majority of them don't read EULAs to the letter either. I sure didn't until I started coming here. Just clicked "agree" and figured as long as I didn't share or resell the fonts I was in compliance. I was pretty shocked to learn that in sending a pdf to a client for approval I was violating the terms of some of them. Still think that's absurd BTW.

Christian Robertson's picture

“it took me two years to design this font. it took you two seconds to download it”.

You are making the mistake of linking value to time. I'm sure it would not be difficult to find examples of life-long works that are rubbish, or brilliant types that were executed very quickly.

If the message is "don't download type because it's stealing from poor, meagre type designers who dedicate their lives to a thankless art", it becomes pretty easy to come up with counter examples of people who have made millions from (comparatively) little effort, or corporations who are still selling the work of dead designers for more than the prospective "pirate" will likely ever make. (This reminds me of the MPAA ads that showed pathetic looking stage hands and their waifish children.)

I think the better tack is to release new stuff frequently and provide a positive purchase experience that adds value at a reasonable price. People will buy fonts when they need them rather than nursing a decrepit old collection of thousands of gross fonts gained through perilous ventures into the underbelly of the internet, braving viruses, and gross pictures for fonts that don't work that well anyway. Adding value through new type technologies is a good tack as well. Who wants all the gross old fonts they collected in the 90's when you could buy shiny new "Pro" fonts.

Another viable business model for the digital age is custom or exclusive types. The cost of producing a typeface has fallen such that custom types are much more achievable for publications and corporations that previously couldn't afford them.

jupiterboy's picture

There is intellectual property in the interpretation of letter shapes. It is more than software. US law puts every type designer in a bad position. Since when has the US been against creating an economic incentive for an industry? Wouldn't international protection help the university system in the US? Why have a type design program if the work can be legally pirated? I know there is precedent to overcome, but I can't help but believe a change in law would help increase awareness at the university and corporate level.

blank's picture

I’ll just get on my usual soapbox:

•Teach type design: I know the money sucks, even for a designer, and design students can be extremely irritating. But the best way to teach type appreciation to designs is to teach them to design type, so that they realize that there are some very dedicated people behind every good font out there.

•Come up with better pricing for student use. I may be wrong, but I think that only Adobe and Bitstream offer font packages for students. And even at the 10 – 50% discounts some foundries offer it isn’t easy to justify purchasing a single font that will only be used for one project. But it’s quite easy to pirate the fonts.

Ch's picture

>>provide a positive purchase experience that adds value at a reasonable price.<<

i couldn't agree more. i am the proverbial "little guy". i want to buy your fonts !
i also feel, as others have suggested, that some EULAs virtually invite violation.
i avoid those fonts. maybe some designers prefer it that way... exclusivity has some value. howls of protest.

my suggestion for an awareness campaign ("it took me two years..") was just a hasty example. i agree with your reservations there. it's not simply about time.

keep 'em coming ! we are learning.

Miss Tiffany's picture

To say "some EULAs virtually invite violation" is a pretty strong statement. While I do understand what you are saying and can't say I completely disagree, I have to add that if a EULA is disagreeable simply don't license from that particular foundry. Violating their EULA invites (tempts) legal action as well as karma.

Nick Shinn's picture

Might a suggest the odd peerage, e.g. "Lord Carter of Fonthaven"?
And a knighthood for Neville, which would really piss him off :-)

crossgrove's picture

Voluntary type credits on designed works? Much like photo credits. A sort of public awareness campaign.

I agree that design education should include type design and lettering as basic requirements. This was the norm in the first half of the 20th century.

I think there is still a lack of awareness among font makers (notice I didn't say type designers) of what the ethical boundaries are, and how type should be valued.

The US copyright policy is a big, big obstacle here.

Nick Shinn's picture

Voluntary type credits on designed works?

The Association of Type Designers could lobby awards organizations to include a type credit line.

Oh, right, we don't have such an organization.

So perhaps we should start one, because industry bodies such as ATypI and SOTA don't adequately represent the interests of type designers, as they are largely funded by corporations not owned by type designers, which benefit from keeping type designers in their place. (There's nothing malicious in this, it's just the nature of power and self-interest.)

dezcom's picture

Maybe leak a story that The Sopranos family enforcers (tired of retirement from TV) are now working the type industry and collecting on EULA infractions :-)
Lends a new meaning to the term Font Collection :-P

ChrisL

russellm's picture

A few lines of code embedded in the font file that could detect the absence of a valid EULA and re-set text in an illegally used font to a page directing miscreants to the appropriate distributor from whom they could purchase a license or license upgrade. (I'm thinking this idea could either work with CSS embedded fonts on web pages... or show-off my ignorance in such matters. :-)

-=®=-

kegler's picture

Voluntary type credits on designed works?
Colophons have been used in books for centuries.

Oh, right, we don’t have such an organization.
So perhaps we should start one,

looks like someone did
http://fdrc.org/

AGL's picture

"As I am not aware of the conventions and ethics and the intricacies
and mechanisms by which the governing bodies atract and repel each other caused by the EULAs and it's interpretations.... And further thinking if I should or could intervine in or not, I realized that is best leave to the Gods in his or hers magnanimous wisdom."

Just used to feel bad when dreaming of revivre "Cloister"
;_)

jupiterboy's picture

looks like someone did
http://fdrc.org/

Great. I don't know where they are at, but getting a congress person involved might be a good goal.

Nick Shinn's picture

but the fonts on the various sites are getting licensed or why are all the foundries still in business?

There is a market for fonts, despite the impediments; but the general issue, which there seems to be agreement about, is that they are undervalued, and this encourages sharing.

Christian Robertson's picture

I for one am glad that U.S. copyright law doesn't cover type designs. Sure there are always a couple of bad apples that copy stuff, but in my mind the overly litigious are just as bad. I'm glad that I don't have to be looking over my shoulder worrying that someone might think my letter 'a' looks too much like their letter 'a'. If you look hard enough, it all looks like something else.

beejay's picture

the FDRC site, the 'logo', this whole approach needs some fresh blood and fresh approaches.
It looks like a site from 1999 ... there's nothing aimed at the next generation of designers, who enter adulthood knowing that most of their peers download stuff for free.

AGL's picture

[crossgrove] "Voluntary type credits on designed works? Much like photo credits. A sort of public awareness campaign."
Everywhere you look there is a reference to the author (movies, architeture, literature, and so on and on)...
fdrc.org has theirs already, so...
Why not do the same? There may be a way....

jupiterboy's picture

I for one am glad that U.S. copyright law doesn’t cover type designs.

So many times a client makes a demand to give them a copy of fonts, or send them to a web designer, or whatever. If you say it is illegal, and then they talk with another design shop that doesn't care you look really bad—like you are trying to rip them off. I've lost clients and jobs over this issue. Your statement is amazing and strange to me.

It looks like a site from 1999 ... there’s nothing aimed at the next generation of designers, who enter adulthood knowing that most of their peers download stuff for free.

Are these ideas linked? Who cares what their site looks like. I would be somewhat concerned about setting a client up with an identity based on a pirated font. It would seem you could be liable for damages maybe? If it ever became an issue? It is a small world.

beejay's picture

> Who cares what their site looks like?

srsly?

not even sure how to respond to that. checking to see that this is indeed typophile.com.

Typophiles obsess over the font on the menu at brunch, so an organization that is *representing* font designers, er type designers, ought to at least have the wherewithal to present a polished logo and website.

you would think.

not a hard-to-decipher, pixellated scan out of a type specimen book. :/

as far as up-and-coming designers, there's an increasing sentiment that downloading 'free' stuff is okay, and you can't educate them if you can't grab their attention and it least hold it for a minute.

you don't see a need for a fresh approach? ... nah, let's make sure to post an FBI warning on our front page, *that's* effective. :D

jupiterboy's picture

Something like a web page can be so easily fixed. And I don’t feel like an updated look is going to motivate people to get together and push forward on something that is political like this.

In my experience, a well executed and written campaign via the web-based design community along with some political connection would be a start. The fact that someone has started to organize and doesn't have an updated image together is almost predictable. A few good letters and a consolidation of the ideas into economic benefits that can be easily grasped could go a long way toward making an impact. Trying to change a law and trying to sell membership in an organization are two different things.

Rob O. Font's picture

"...this whole [FDRC] approach needs some fresh blood and fresh approaches."
WHAT!? You mean, you think the secret handshake in the circle of muttered Latin, beneath the Eye of Ra, is somehow less than utterly fresh? C'mon!

Cheers!

AGL's picture

[jupiterboy]: "Something like a web page can be so easily fixed. And I don’t feel like an updated look is going to motivate people to get together and push forward on something that is political like this."
In my experience, a well executed and written campaign via the web-based design community along with some political connection would be a start. The fact that someone has started to organize and doesn’t have an updated image together is almost predictable. A few good letters and a consolidation of the ideas into economic benefits that can be easily grasped could go a long way toward making an impact. Trying to change a law and trying to sell membership in an organization are two different things."

None of you know me; nobody does. In the past few days, when participating on the "Delicious" debate I throw in some comments and kind of exercise an "inquisitive" point of view. I didn't mean to be mean, but placing
the points on the Ies (i's) and browsing on previous discussions about this subject, I realized that what the Small Type Founders need is simply

ORGANIZATION

The only way, the way, I don't dare to advice. I guess it wouldn't be too complicated to form some sort of provisional committee of the concerned parties, get together (on line) and start to draw what it would be. Of course there may be differences
among those who draw type, and all sorts of 'interferences' and difficulties, but it CAN be done.

I am sure that amongst those that express their opinions here in Tipophile, are respected people who have a great sense of this industry and are known worlwide and could or would be available to actually START this thing, this foundation,
organization... whatever you want to call it.

The purpose of such entity is the eduction of students and font users, the public. Anybody who does not know at all what it is to seat in front a computer and squish their brain to achieve something new and of course, try to make a living out of it.

The European Union has a system in which the government is rotative: Each country 'govern', deliberates or promote policy for a limited time. It seems to me a good idea try to promote something like this, instead of having a 'unremovable'
board. A rotating chairman position can be a good way to achieve things. Look: if there was a org like this, people from this craft could start making BIG questions to the presidential candidates (I wish I did not know how that goes...)

Tipophile can be a launch platform to promote a dialogue and START this thing, having in mind that what is in question is education, with NO fbi warnings or scaring language > Love talks! and people understands it.

p.s.: I am a mere spectator here and I do NOT want just promote myself or misguide the typographic community, but, if YOU (you is plural and singular....) get to move onto something like this: The soonest the better!

(stupid question OFF the subject: After 'extending' my sympathy to Tipophile, should I wait somebody place the insignia in my icon, or should I do it myself?)

Don McCahill's picture

> the FDRC site, the ’logo’, this whole approach needs some fresh blood and fresh approaches.

Isn't it clear? They selected the font from the ones their members provide, based on the largest number of control points.

Ch's picture

>>if a EULA is disagreeable simply don’t license from that particular foundry. <<

before your reply, miss tiffany, i had already written : "i avoid those fonts".

and yet you imply that you agree with me that some EULAs are either unreasonable or prohibitively inconvenient to follow completely "to the letter". that's a big part of the problem. why would a foundry want to discourage me from buying ? that's just bad business.

i can only reiterate my quotation from christian robertson :

>>provide a positive purchase experience that adds value at a reasonable price.<<

dezcom's picture

Lawyers have a different take on EULAs than either honest purchasers or type marketing people. Lawyers are looking for ways to lock out the crooks, not make the EULA friendlier to the honest purchaser. Getting both the crooks controlled and the keeping honest folks happy is really a tough job. If you think about things like identity fraud and SPAM, you can see how trying to control the criminals makes it very inconvenient for honest folks to go about their business.

ChrisL

i cant delete my username's picture

No matter how badly one may want to put the "face" in typeface, I just think some people don't care enough to pay for their fonts. People download movies, music, software, etc. Aside from designers (sometimes), most people don't even know that fonts aren't always free, let alone that it actually takes time to design them (i had a friend that thought fonts were just force-vomitted automatically by a simple computer program). I think the fundamental problem is that exactly. Maybe if font software was somehow managed like iTunes mp4 format, (no, not the 99 cents part) where you can't copy music (the iDump software notwithstanding), but you can only authorize it on the computers you use. I'm not an expert on font files, but i imagine it's a long time before this kind of security could be embedded. Any store without security will be stolen from, that's what makes digital files so dangerous.

As for monitoring rip-off fonts, that would be decidedly harder, until some optical-recognition program could create a master database of any little font that has ever appeared. You're always going to have people who forge art for their own gain, businessmen who steal their underling's work. Some people don't care about intellectual property at all, as long as they dont get caught and they make money doing it.

Long and short,the only way to stop it is to make it impossible to steal in the first place.

Obviously typophiles are a different breed, but that's my take.

William Berkson's picture

Two comments. On Colophons. Most books don't have them, and no magazines or newspapers have them. I think a 'font awareness' campaign would be great, and having more Colophons would be a perhaps not insane goal. Would ATypI do this? SOTA?

Chris's reference to the 'Sopranos' as enforcers reminds me of an essay by a literary agent I once read. He said that it was sometimes had difficulty getting publishers to pay royalties promptly to his clients (and him). But he had one client who never had a problem of withheld royalties. The client was known as "Joey the Hit Man", and he had written a memoir about his life as an enforcer for the mob. He told the publisher that if he was ever late in a payment, he would "Marry you to a plate glass window." Somehow he never had any problem with getting paid.

Ch's picture

it will never be impossible to steal anything or hack DRMs.

i think the point has been well made that embedded DRMs are a terrible idea, not least because they essentially punish the honest.

in my opinion, and i venture to say that of many others on this list, the traditional EULA which links fonts to specific computers is also a terrible idea, completely impractical especially for small businesses, and one of the aspects of EULAs that invites violation even if the user is scrupulous about other restrictions such as forwarding, embedding, or otherwise distributing the font.

but the point of this thread is to ask if there is a way we can make it less desirable/unconscious to abuse fonts, font designers, and the font industry in general, by cultivating awareness, respect, understanding, and appreciation.

further punitive measures never succeed in that direction.

Nick Shinn's picture

if there is a way we can make it less desirable/unconscious to abuse fonts, font designers, and the font industry in general

We could cut back drastically on bundling.

There will never be widespread respect and appreciation for fonts as long as massive bundling continues.

People think fonts aren't worth anything because they get a large number free when they buy a computer or licence a major graphics or word processing application.

As a means of addressing piracy, those who lead the font industry might consider the influence that the corporate behaviour of Adobe, Apple, and Microsoft has on public attitudes and behaviour.

Consider a typical graphic designer set-up: a Mac, CS, and Office.

To licence the Mac bundled fonts, from Myfonts, would cost around $2,000--more than the cost of the computer.
To licence the CS fonts, from Adobe, around $1,300--75% the cost of CS.

If these companies were "type foundries and other individuals whose livelihood depends upon the proper licensing of our work" (FRDC mission statement), and made their income from fonts, they would not be quite so generous in their "subsidy" of graphic designers.

Designers are given all the fonts necessary, and more, to run their business, so they don't have to spend any money licensing them, and can instead direct it all to the purchase of their computer and major applications.

Bundling is responsible for the fundamental reality, the awareness that exists amongst the majority of those involved in the design industry, and our clients: "Fonts are not a business expense."

Getting tough with piracy is not without merit, but it is damage control.

William Berkson's picture

Nick, I think you are right that font bundling makes the font business more difficult for independents and foundries that don't publish other software as their main business. But I just don't see how it is unethical on their part. They are enhancing their products, and they don't have a monopoly on fonts.

Miss Tiffany's picture

@William: Amen.

Miss Tiffany's picture

@Nick: The people licensing the software are not getting the fonts for free. They are part of the package which they are licensing. For the love of cold pizza why do you go there so often? Internally, yes, the companies have these fonts that they can bundle with the software to make it even more attractive. But when someone is licensing the software they must see the fonts as part of what they are paying for!

jupiterboy's picture

They also bundle software and give price breaks when multiple applications are purchased. The practice—buy one get one free—is pretty well established. Having multiple products to sell gives a competitive advantage.

On the other hand, setting an exhibition catalog in Adobe Garamond may not make a designer more competitive. Adobe does not enhance the value of their fonts by making them common.

i cant delete my username's picture

As long as Comic Sans and Curlz comein bundled software, maybe some designers think that Helvetica and Garamond are of the "same" monetary value (and thus of the same calibur). Perhaps because of this, they don't see the $500 price tag on an H&FJ family as fair. I'm not really taking an opinion on bundled software, rather, it's more of an observation. I don't know what I would have done without some of the ones on my mac, but maybe this should be part of font awareness (can we have a font awareness month? I'd totally mark it on my calendar).

pattyfab's picture

On the other hand, a designer could do a lot worse than setting an exhibition catalog in Adobe Garamond. It's an elegant, if safe font and has the Open Type features needed for captions and such. Combined with a headline font that has a little more panache it works quite nicely. Most exhibition catalogs are too safe looking for my taste but needing to please multiple institutions (and a publisher) often leads you down that road.

Off topic, sorry!

I will add that coming to this forum has greatly raised my awareness of and appreciation for font designers. Kudos to you all.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Designers—those designers worth their salt*—take the time to think about the typefaces they use. If those designers are frequenting the different font vendor sites, subscribing to various newsletters, reading certain blogs, then they learn about the typefaces available. Maybe we here are the few (although I doubt it), but the fonts on the various sites are getting licensed or why are all the foundries still in business?

Bundling might give some designers some nice basics to use. Yes, I use them when I need to. But the basics are just supplemental. I really depend upon a nice variety to get my work done. I think most of us do. Perhaps foundries need to run ads in business magazines, or blogs, or newsletters, to start getting their stuff seen more?

*Aesthetic Apparatus, being one of a few who do not need a lot of variety, have done great work, IMO, with just one typeface family.

i cant delete my username's picture

to add to miss tiffany's asterisk, experimental jetset, who would be out about $60 if helvetica neue roman and bold weren't preloaded on their computers...

Miss Tiffany's picture

@Chipman: And so we see that they aren't exactly robbing the foundries of the world by not licensing fonts. :^P

Miss Tiffany's picture

Instead of disparaging over the fact that fonts are bundled. Perhaps (one thing) we can all (do is) make a point of contributing to online forums when we see an opportunity to raise awareness of the value of typefaces and font software. There is really little which can be done about the bundling, but we can educate.

jupiterboy's picture

On the other hand, a designer could do a lot worse than setting an exhibition catalog in Adobe Garamond.

I picked it to make a point, but you are absolutely right. Oatmeal makes a wonderful breakfast as well—probably my favorite, but it has a sort of, I dunno, utilitarian aspect. I would hope a font would be used because it was appropriate rather than because it was available. (This is coming from a designer that often relegates less sophisticated clients that demonstrate a disrespect for copyright issues to bundled fonts)

Instead of disparaging over the fact that fonts are bundled. Perhaps (one thing) we can all (do is) make a point of contributing to online forums when we see an opportunity to raise awareness of the value of typefaces and font software.

I wonder if there is a reluctance to make negative comments about fonts on a forum, as the creator might take offense. We all have our preferences, and I know I have hesitated, partly because type designers have been so generous in lending sample copies of their fonts for comping. I guess that is where customization comes into play.

fontplayer's picture

For reformed fontaholics, bundled fonts serve a valuable purpose. When you know you can acquire any font you want just for the asking (including most proprietary fonts), my URW collection of bundled fonts are like methadone.

Nick Shinn's picture

But I just don’t see how it is unethical on their part.

Ethicality may be an issue, but not in this thread.
The question was, how to raise awareness of the value of fonts, and I suggested that an answer may be to cut back drastically on font bundling.

The people licensing the software are not getting the fonts for free...when someone is licensing the software they must see the fonts as part of what they are paying for!

If that is the case, why is so little marketing space given by Apple and Adobe to proclaiming the value of the fonts that come bundled with their big-ticket products? Isn't this indicative of their true value?

For the love of cold pizza why do you go there so often?

I don't, it just seems that way to you.

Between them, Apple and Adobe give thousands of dollars worth of top quality fonts free to the majority of professional graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers, fonts to cover every type situation most of them are likely to encounter, adding to and updating the collection with every upgrade.

So, making it unecessary for people to have to spend money on fonts isn't the major reason for their low perceived value?
That's hard to believe.

There is really little which can be done about the bundling.

An awareness campaign might help.

pattyfab's picture

>cite>So, making it unecessary for people to have to spend money on fonts isn’t the major reason for their low perceived value?

Or you could look at it differently - by bundling some basic workhorse fonts with your software, Adobe frees up your budget to buy some more interesting fonts from smaller foundries.

William Berkson's picture

>An awareness campaign might help.

Nick, you are on the board of SOTA, as I remember. Do you think that SOTA could have a campaign to encourage printing more colophons, not only in books but also in magazines, as I suggested above? Or is this too marginal?

i cant delete my username's picture

I'm a little conflicted. I think nick makes a good point, and perhaps not only does it sort of contribute to ubiquity of some good typefaces (e.g. Times), but perhaps it sort of masks the creator behind it. On the other hand however, i fail to see how upstart firms or freelancers could possibly afford between $500-$1000 for individual fonts, let alone building a repertoire. The only solution that I could see is if somehow they were less expensive across the board. Maybe that would help alleviate piracy, and thus bring in more paying customers? Perhaps this is not my place to say, since I personally don't have any typefaces for sale, while many of you do. I'd prefer not suggest my own price tag on another person's work.

blank's picture

@Nick: Maybe it’s just a canadian thing, but outside of the book world and people knocking off Apple’s ad campaigns, I don’t see much use of bundled fonts in good design. There might be a lot of hacks out there using Rosewood, Papyrus, and Helvetica for every other job, but they probably wouldn’t buy good fonts even if they didn’t get the bundled stuff. Regarding your statement that fonts are undervalued, I agree, but I don’t think that it’s because of bundling. I blame that more on the esoteric nature of type design, something almost nobody knows anything about.

Last Saturday I was at a dinner party and one of the hosts started talking about the Helvetica movie. He really got into it, and had no clue about type design before seeing it. Getting that kind of educational experience to more designers would do a lot for type appreciation.

Personally, I would have very few legit fonts if I hadn’t picked up an old copy of Corel Draw on eBay for $50. It’s going to be a while before I can scrounge up the cost of a big type library, so bundled fonts will be getting me by for a while.

DrDoc's picture

Nick, I think your comments about bundled fonts show a very closed view of where type appreciation stems from. Your proposed drastic changes really only affect professional designers who can justify spending large amounts of money on typeface families. If we're looking for widespread type appreciation, then including only Helvetica and Times (or Gotham and Garamond, if you prefer) with every machine would kill off any and all type appreciation that exists in this world. Design would be an exclusive club of privileged elite who can afford to purchase more than two typefaces per year.

Do you know what creates appreciation for good type more than anything else? Bad type. I started reading about type design because of the website bancomicsans.com. I knew practically nothing about type, but I knew that I hated Comic Sans. I would start to notice flyers around campus set in Comic Sans, then I would start to notice flyers set in Arial Black, then (god forbid) Curlz. I began to recognize certain typefaces that I liked, and I started reading typography blogs and books and such.

My point is, cutting bundling down to a serif, a sans, and a monospace would only serve to alienate people like me who are interested in typography as a hobby but can't afford to invest our lives and savings into it.

The real question is, how do we define an appreciation for type? I don't want to set up a straw man, but Nick, it sounds like you're implying that an appreciation for type involves people only using really, really quality typefaces because they don't have mediocre ones readily accessible. But only people who already have an appreciation for type would go to the extra effort and expenditures to carefully choose which faces are in their libraries.

To me, type appreciation is not about every professionally designed item being set in really quality typefaces. Type appreciation is about my being able to point out to my friends how ridiculous it is to set a flyer advertising a class on Gender and Islam in Cooper Black without getting a raised eyebrow, or to point out bad kerning without being ridiculed.

Arguments like yours, Nick, only serve to put off those of us who are mildly interested in type as a hobby because they create a sense of elitism. At the end of the day, font awareness is not about designers owning certain fonts that are considered good by a group of elites such as this one; it's about ordinary people recognizing good design.

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