Opentype Com Vs. Std and some words on Bembo Book

i cant delete my username's picture


My design department is looking into purchasing some opentype families. We've been trying to find information on Opentype Standard (Std) vs. Opentype complete (Com). As an example, we were looking at Franklin Gothic, where there is a $437 price difference between the two. Does the complete version contain Cyrillic characters, or is the kerning different, or does it lay golden eggs? Is there any difference that makes it worth paying that much more?

I've also noticed the suffix Pro on other typefaces, is this a third, more (less?) comprehensive version?


Nick Shinn's picture

Although the terminology varies from foundry to foundry, the unfortunately-named STD generally refers to fonts that have the same character sets as the old Type 1 and TrueType fonts.

PRO fonts are more likely to have a larger character set supporting more languages, and a larger feature set, providing things like small caps and alternate figures.

COM is a Linotype-only term, AFAIK.

IMO the best way so far to check out OpenType features is to go and use the interactive menu.

crossgrove's picture

Com is roughly equivalent to Pro in that it offers expanded language support. You can find this info on the Linotype site. Dig around there, and on other sites; click on those little icons in the font panes which tell what glyphs you get ("character set features"). Unfortunately there is no standard character set designated by "Pro". It might include small caps, swashes, petite caps, etc. but each foundry decides that. With the freedom of OpenType comes the complexity of choosing the right product for you. If you rarely do any multilingual typesetting, just get "Std" fonts and skip the extra languages. But investigate, in case a family offers small caps, oldstyle figs and other niceties that you want in the Pro versions.

There are many many different Franklin Gothic products, including a very recent release, which I have to say, could be a very useful tool for a graphic design school lab: ITC Franklin, by David Berlow. It is 48 styles, which is more than previous Franklin Gothic families; Berlow thought there should be more condensed and compressed styles. You can get that at, and there are Std and Pro versions of it.

There are always many different packages and ways to get type families; as singles, as groups or as whole megafamilies.

Be sure that the school gets the appropriate license if these fonts are to be shared in a communal lab.

i cant delete my username's picture

Thanks both,

I'll be sure to look more in depth. Sorry I wasn't clear about my definition of "design department." In my hastily composed post, I should have defined my "department" as the Graphic Design Department for an Architecture Firm. We're small-four of us. Most of the licenses, by default, cover us plus one.

I only wish we could get all of our typefaces in full "Pro" glory, but I think our company is generous enough to dole out nearly ten grand to revamp our collection into opentype (due to a mac-pc transition, don't get me started).

It's rather annoying, but at the same time logical that smallcaps wouldn't be listed as it's own style. Guess this is why opentype takes a little getting used to. I'll pay closer attention to the sub-icons. I think Nick already made a post a while back regarding those...

Thanks again!

crossgrove's picture

It is tough doing a large font purchase all at once. But the nice thing is that OT fonts (if they do include everything) can be used cross-platform. You could also ask for a yearly font budget if they don't want to cough up all at once.

If there are families whose small caps or other extras you don't ever use, then you could still get the Std versions. On the other hand, a transition might be a good time to upgrade whole type families like Avenir -> Avenir Next Pro, or Bembo -> Bembo Book Pro.

On the bright side: You're switching to macs! ;)

If you're with architects, I hope they are utilizing your services/talents in selecting and laying out architectural graphics and signage. Building lettering, identity/wayfinding etc. for architecture too often tends to be a careless afterthought. Then there's all the fun of ADA compliance....

billtroop's picture

If you wanted Franklin Gothic and you wanted some very nice small caps (digitized by A-J Pool), you could get them for practically nothing from URW or from one of the many bundles that include the URW library for free . . . . . ditto the Bitstream library.

For several years, we have heard how nobody will be able to use anything but OT fonts in the future. MMs are dead, etc. And it's all turned out to be a lie. ATM 4.1 still works on Vista (just disable UAC which you don't want anyway); and everything old works on Macs, except MMs -- so why not use them on Windows instead? There are also font conversion utilities to go from one platform to another without paying for new fonts. Most older licenses do not expressly forbid this.

I've said from the start, 12 long years ago, OT was badly productized and would never succeed as such -- and it hasn't. An OT STD font must contain, at the very least, small caps, OSF, and five ligatures. Otherwise there's not much point in shelling out for it. Microsoft realized this from the start -- its OT fonts are not denominated as such, and are not charged for. They're simply there. You don't have to know you have them.

There's another excellent reason for sticking with old font licenses: they don't forbid PDF-encoding, as so many modern font licenses do. In fact, older font licenses are far less restrictive than contemporary ones, by and large. By the Bitstream library via a $5 copy of Corel Draw 5, or the URW library via $5 copy of - - can't remember the name of the program, but it's out there - - and basically, there's not much you can't do with those fonts. They also come in TT and PS, Mac and PC. I think the TT versions are completely cross-platform compatible.

Let me joint the chorus of support on Berlow's compressed additions to ITC FG: they're absolute lifesavers when space is cramped - - nothing beats them.

As for Bembo and Bembo Book Pro . . . . they're both highly unsatisfactory. The least unsatisfactory versions are those of Berthold and Scangraphic, both of which are hard to locate.

i cant delete my username's picture

due to a mac-pc transition, don’t get me started
Actually, I meant the other way around. I've gone from my lovely mac to a pc, due to a whole other issue with os 10.5 on new macs not supporting CS2 fully.

Yes Carl, We're investing in some new and not so new signage gems- like DIN and Whitney . Avenir is our identity's typeface, so we've actually had that for a while. Luckily for the architecture field as well- you have kind of a "captive client" for a really expensive project-meaning a $700-$1200 OT font usually ends up being a drop in the bucket. I've just started to do a lot of it, and I'm beginning to believe it's a seriously overlooked sector of typography. Okay, I'll stop hijacking my own thread now.

Bill, thanks for the notes on the OT STD, and CorelDraw5-I'll look into it.

crossgrove's picture

Bill: Bembo Book Pro is a redrawing of Bembo from a different metal master, which also compensates for the loss of ink spread. The outlines are not the same as those in the original digital Bembo. Berthold isn't likely to have anything different from that original version, if anything.

So sorry to hear you've had to go back to PCs. Can't you upgrade CS to version 3 and skip the whole hardware transition? Then you keep your existing fonts.

But I realize an architecture firm is likely to require PCs. Not as much CAD software is available for macs.

i cant delete my username's picture

So sorry to hear you’ve had to go back to PCs. Can’t you upgrade CS to version 3 and skip the whole hardware transition? Then you keep your existing fonts.

The issue is that they would have to upgrade to CS3 licenses for 250 architects as well. CS4 is (speculated to be-to my understanding at least) coming out in less than a year, so it's much more cost effective for us to go PC (unfortunately). When CS4 comes out, I'll be the first asking for a mac pro. I know you can save as previous versions of InD, Ai and Ps, but it's a pain to remember every time and I've noticed sometimes groupings aren't kept.

It's actually very abnormal (to my shock) for an architecture firm to have their graphic designers on macs. This teaches me up for having once thought that no respectable design group uses PCs. I must add that I hate typing unicode for accented vowels and other characters like that. Back to the glyph palette for me.

In the long run, I don't think we'll be at a huge disadvantage without some of the minor ligatures and osf's (which are most often on serifs), since we tend to go sans on signage, and I think (this can be argued) legibility from distances would be lost with them.

billtroop's picture

Carl, sorry to contradict, but Bembo Book is not a redrawing from a metal master -- just take a look. I've discussed this with Robin Nicholas - - who is responsible for it. He used Monotype's "C" photo master, which is explicitly optimized for 13 points.

The fact that the C master was optimized for 13 points is not the problem. The problem is that the photo masters are badly drawn, badly conceived. Sadly, the economics were such that Robin did not have either the time or the budget to go to metal.

Monotype Bembo non-Book, similarly, is taken from a badly conceived small point photo master.

NONE of the Monotype digital fonts is is taken from a _metal_ master.

By contrast, Berthold Bembo and Scangraphic Bembo are carefully taken from the metal. The proof is in the visual pudding, but I happen to know the guy who did the work for Scangraphic (AJ Pool) and have discussed it with him at length. I have _not_ confirmed how the Berthold team worked, but . . . . it's metal Bembo in a way that the others ain't. And I know enough about the way Berthold went about these things to know that's what they would have done.

A word about the Scangraphic. Pool says the text version is the inferior one, left in the catalogue for compatibility reasons. The rigorous, faithful redrawing from metal masters by him and Kuester is the display version. Unfortunately, that doesn't help you in text. A problem with _both_ Scangraphic masters is that the f-ligatures are completely inauthentic, and as you know, Bembo without its own f-ligatures is not Bembo.

That is also the problem with the Berthold version, which is by far the most faithful text version (faithful to metal, that is): it doesn't have any f-ligs at all, as Berthold was philosophically opposed to f-ligatures in phototype (on the grounds that if you used tracking, and it was expected you would, there would be fatal compositional errors).

Around 1996 I worked briefly with Steve Matteson and Bill Davis for several months on a possible redrawing of Bembo from metal. This was a love project -- there was no upfront money -- which I believe was also Robin's problem. I got out of it, after having done A-z of a 60-pt version everyone liked, because I got involved with Adobe at that point. I wish I had stuck with it, though! Monotype sent me lots of scans, which I couldn't use. I eventually worked from a fabulous specimen book which Ross Mills kindly sent me. At that time, we naturally conceived it as a multiple master with optical size. Just a few years later, that no longer seemed like a good idea and we let it lapse. The project was never even mentioned to Robin, who didn't know about it when he was working on Bembo Book.

On the matter of PCs v. Macs, I am the greatest fan of Macs and have been doing Mac journalism for umpteen years. But if you're interested in fonts, Vista is the place to be, now we know that ATM 4.1 works on it. Vista is the only contemporary OS with total support, via ATM, of all multiple master fonts - - all of which, by the way, have licenses from before the no-PDF-embedding period. I think National Geographic still uses them - - to fabulous effect. Have a look at Kepler MM - - a font you can make do _anything_ -- or the fantastic things you can do with the much-maligned ITC Garamond MM - - and the list goes on. Vista makes it possible to take advantage of some absolutely fabulous Adobe achievements.

So if I need to use Bembo for text, I use the old Berthold version - - with my own custom-made f-ligs. Too bad, but it's still the only way to approximate the beauty of metal Bembo printing. Given the enormous differences in the Bembo drawings in the small point sizes, you really have to admire the single master that Berthold got out of it. Life Magazine appeared to be using it in some of its special issues just a few years ago, but that's the only place I've seen Bembo Berthold recently.

As I understand it, neither Berthold nor Scangraphic is now allowed to sell their versions of Bembo under the name of Bembo. Too bad. I'm glad I still have my copies! Sorry to stray so far off topic! (PS The Bitstream version of Bembo is also unaccountably bad - - it's from a photo Lino master, which was probably direct licensed from Monotype.)

crossgrove's picture

"Carl, sorry to contradict, but Bembo Book is not a redrawing from a metal master — just take a look. I’ve discussed this with Robin Nicholas - - who is responsible for it. He used Monotype’s “C” photo master, which is explicitly optimized for 13 points.

The fact that the C master was optimized for 13 points is not the problem. The problem is that the photo masters are badly drawn, badly conceived. Sadly, the economics were such that Robin did not have either the time or the budget to go to metal.

Monotype Bembo non-Book, similarly, is taken from a badly conceived small point photo master.

NONE of the Monotype digital fonts is is taken from a _metal_ master."

Bill, I'm not sure where you get your information, but this is not the case. Robin Nicholas certainly didn't confirm your tale. He doesn't recall discussing the Bembo Book project with you, nor any of your claims.

What became Bembo Book was originally drawn for a custom client who specifically asked for a digitization of 13 point hot metal Bembo. You have the size right somehow, but not the technology. You have to do more than just "take a look" to get the full story. There's more, which I actually did get directly from Robin, but what's important to clarify is that the new version of Bembo was intentionally derived from the metal, since that has been the complaint about the photo and digital versions all along. Monotype has been fully aware of this complaint through the years. What would be the purpose of releasing another version based on the same art?

Bill, remember that I work at Monotype, and I actually am friendly with all the people whose names you drop. Just saw them a week ago at TypeCon. It's very easy for me to check your "facts".

billtroop's picture

Carl, why don't you drop me an email and I'll send you my tapes.

In late 2006 I did an article briefly, and very kindly mentioning Bembo Book for MacDirectory. I interviewed Robin, and also Pat and David Saunders.

Thanks to dtsearch, I can give you these email items from Steve Matteson to me:

"How would you like to be commissioned to do Bembo MM?" (May 6, 1997)


"Hi Bill,
Thanks for the Bembo - looks pretty nice. Our plans right now for
an opentype Bembo are starting to come together. The main things
we got going are the slight beefing up of the current PS volume
for text setting plus investigating the display data we had for
Lasercomp. I'll let you know if there are any further
Steve" (March 25, 1999)

Carl, why don't you check out Monotype's email archives before you start talking about 'facts'? Once you've done so, do you think it would be out of order for me to ask for an apology?

Look, I realize BemboMT and Bembo Book are embarrassing for Monotype. But the way forward isn't to push them. The way forward is to get it right.

Correction? I wrote above that the project I was working on with Steve was never even mentioned to Robin -- I base that on what Robin told me in 2005. But looking back at my emails with Steve today, I now think maybe Robin misremembered. FWIW

Anyway, all that stuff about the C photo master is all on tape.

Look, I never post about any event I can't back up. Why should I? The truth is far more interesting than anything I could make up. But what beats me is what it has to do with you. You weren't a participant. You weren't there. What's your interest?

And if you care so much about Bembo and you're at Monotype, why aren't you working on it? Like Ed Mendelson said to me, 'I'd pay a lot of money for a good digital version of Bembo, and I say that as one who has two children to educate.'

billtroop's picture

OK, I have spent some hours looking at metal and digital Bembo, and I believe I may have detected a key area where Robin went wrong. One goal in Bembo Book was to give the fonts the added meat they would have had in letterpress printing. So he beefed up the characters considerably.

The mistake he made was to respect the x-height line absolutely, for fear, no doubt, of being accused of expanding the x-height. So all the weight that was added to x-height characters was added under the x-height line. It should also have been added slightly over it, precisely as happens with letterpress inkspread.

The result is that at text sizes, Bembo Book gives the weird impression of having an x-height even smaller than that of metal Bembo. It somehow looks too narrow even though it is hard to prove that by measurement.

One of my favourite Bembo books is the 1966 Penguin edition of Julia Child et al. v. 1. It's a beautiful example of how well the font works under coarse printing conditions. Bloated and blunt as the printing is when blown up, one can put Bembo Book on top of it and see that it's terribly close - - heartbreakingly close.

Yet set a page in Bembo Book and nothing works. It just isn't there.

There are other issues, obviously - - contrast, fitting, weight, etc. -- and these issues are eerily similar to those in the Bembo photo masters. Bembo isn't an easy problem to solve, and ultimately the only solution is some kind of MM or the multiple single master approach that Sumner Stone so successfully utilized in his Cycles family. And speaking of Sumner there are his great rules for his executants on the ITC Bodoni project: you can never proof blowups. You can only proof at the size the font is intended to be printed at.

Can't someone else have a go at this? Carl, why don't you make some comparisons and tell us what you find? You may find, as I did, that Monotype's resources are pretty poor, but there are plenty of people reading Typophile who could help you out with materials.

Nick Shinn's picture

Can’t someone else have a go at this?

What's your budget?

crossgrove's picture

Nick, don't take the bait. Nothing is wrong with Bembo Book, it's all in Bill's head.

Bill, the objectionable thing about pretty much all your posts is the unending sour grapes. Your problem with Bembo Book is that it was not your version. Your project was ultimately rejected. Steve was very gracious, or perhaps foolish, to seem to encourage you. Do you really imagine that a comprehensive re-working of Bembo would be undertaken within Monotype, behind Robin's back? Pretty delusional, even for you.

Steve's posts you quote above do nothing to support your claim about Bembo Book's origins. They all predate the work that Robin did on the new version, as does all the work you heard about. I have in fact been at Monotype (as an actual employee, not as a virtual, self-appointed critic) since 2001, so yes, indeed I have been here the whole time that Bembo Book was being developed, originally for a custom client, once again, based on hot metal drawings. And I might point out, you have never been an employee of Monotype, nor a consultant, nor a published type designer. What really are your qualifications for all this criticism? Your inability to let go is not sufficient.

billtroop's picture

>Do you really imagine that a comprehensive re-working of Bembo would be undertaken within Monotype, behind Robin’s back? Pretty delusional, even for you.

Not delusional, Carl, just innocent. I believed what Robin told me - - in a taped interview - - in 2005. He told me he was unaware of anything Steve and I talked about in the 90s. So either (a) he forgot, (b) he wasn't told, or (c) he was lying. Personally, I don't care. Once it could no longer be an MM project, I wasn't interested. Like I said, just drop me a line if you want access to the tapes. I tape all my interviews.

Also, I don't want to boast about something insignificant, but Precision Type started publishing me in 1995 or so, and the stuff wasn't bad for its day.

In the meantime, I suggest you start looking at any of the millions of books typset in metal Bembo, so you can get an idea what's wrong.

And may I remind you that it was Adobe that was responsible for getting Bembo MT into publishable form? Adobe is responsible for every single publishable type in the Monotype Classic Collection.

And by the way, other than ineffable animus, what's this all about? Are you getting paid to spend time on the net getting Monotype's views across?

This is so unfair. As far as I know, the only positive review ever published of Bembo Book was ... by me.

billtroop's picture

And I'm the only one who ever gave Mono a full couple of pages about the merger with an interview and photo of Bob Givens. If only he were still there! I believe low level employees kept civiler tongues in his day.

Nick Shinn's picture

I ain't taking no bait Carl, that was a rhetorical question.
A "Bembo Next" would have to be executed at the level of Arno to satisfy Bill, and that's too tall an order.
No amount of cash could persuade me, and I suspect many other limners of glyphs, to spend several years redrawing and extending Bembo--that would drive me crazy! I'd rather work on my own designs.

billtroop's picture

Nick, you are right. What you have said is what every designer who has ever had this task before him or her has said -- whether they wanted to admit it or not. It's a dreadful task. What you're saying is exactly what Matthew Carter always tells me everytime I tell him that because he's the one guy who could properly revive Bembo, he should do it. But there's a clear way forward for lesser mortals: you decide what letterpress print you are absolutely going to replicate, and then you go ahead and do it -- obviously, since the Bembo metal fonts can have substantial differences even at the half sizes for various reasons, doing it as a Sumner Stone-style multiple single master set of fonts. The fact is, Monotype ought to find the budget to do it. It's their greatest achievement in the area of fine printing in the 20th century. If there exists a moral imperative for any entity to get Bembo right, it's Monotype's. Not to mention that it would be a huge commercial success.

MANY apologies for the following illustration showing a _very_ coarse print of Bembo against BemBook at 10.9 points with -2 (Quark style) tracking in the third line and -3 tracking in the fourth line. The scan is dreadful but you can still tell some of the areas where BemBook goes wrong. One problem, as I said before, is that all the additional weight has occurred under the x-height-line (and maybe over the top ascender line?) with the result that BemBook appears fractionally but significantly to have too low an x-height. Another problem is contrast. Finally, the fitting isn't consistent with the added density. When you have added density, the fitting often has to be tighter, not the other way around.

billtroop's picture

Let me just add that the 'snip' of BemboBook here makes it look _much_ better than it does in print. You can only appreciate how dreadful it is when you print with it. I've identified two and a quarter things wrong with it. Can't someone else figure out what the other problems are? I just know it don't look right.

Nick, tell me a bit more about what you mean about Arno. I haven't yet looked at the face and would appreciate knowing what struck you.

billtroop's picture

Just one more point via Carl's rash remark,

"Berthold isn’t likely to have anything different from that original version, if anything."

Carl, Berthold legendarily did its own drawing, and its Monotype photo masters were superior to Monotype's own. Here's Bembo Book, top, Berthold Bembo BQ bottom, and you can see at once that Berthold's really does look like Bembo -- and nothing like BemboMT, in spite of Carl's asseveration. In fact, BemboBQ is much closer to BemboBook than to BemboMT. The only weakness of Berthold's version, in my view, is the f, which is superior in BemboBook. Other than that it is misproportioned, that f is close to perfection. Isn't it amazing how Lange and his team simply didn't get the Bembo f and f-ligs while they were so brilliantly getting everything else? The other weakness of course is the lack of f-ligs in the Berthold version, but that is easily fixed. The weight of the Bembo Book version is preferable also. I wonder what an interpolation between Berthold's regular and bold would produce?

I sometimes wish people would check their facts, or as Carl would put it, "facts", before they post.

billtroop's picture

Finally, here, top BemBook, middle BemBerthold with my corrected f and fi lig, bottom the old BemboMT.

One can see at once that Berthold's version has nothing to do with the dreadful ascender-descender-clipped BemboMT. It is much closer to Bembo Book - -

billtroop's picture

One final note -- in spite of my criticism of Berthold's f, it has a necessary refinement lacking in both the Monotype digitizations. The upper part of f tilts discreetly but necessarily two units to the left. There is a corresponding tilt in the top part of the t, two units to the right. You cannot, as a general rule, and especially in a typeface with generous ascenders and descenders, have entirely straight f's and t's or else, when they are placed together, they will look like two drunks leaning on one another. Making them straight is a common amateur mistake.

Everything depends on the proportions, the style, and the intended size. For example, Matthew Carter's Galliard has the tilts (in his own versions), while his Miller does not. It is wholly typical of Berthold that it would make this refinement where necessary, and wholly typical of Monotype that it would not - - would not, perhaps, even know, now, that this was a part of making good type.

I wrote about this in the mid-90s when [forget his name's] Golden Cockerel came out in an article in - - DTP Journal? John Hudson then promised (possibly on whatever public forum we were using in those days - - or maybe on the phone or maybe in email but I think it was in a forum) that he would always tilt his f's and t's in the future - - but I haven't checked to see what his current practice is.

Carl, maybe you'd like to give John a call? "Fact"-checking sessions can be fun!

jasonc's picture


did I drop enough names there?

billtroop's picture

you forgot Bembo

will powers's picture

Earlier this morning, Bill Troop wrote "you forgot Bembo."

Well, it might be a good idea indeed to forget Bembo. Just to let it lie, let it rest on its considerable laurels. & not try to re-create it. There are considerable obstacles to accurate re-creation, or even to acceptable re-creation, of existing typefaces, typefaces created and used with earlier technologies. Among them: vastly different technologies and tools for creation and manufacture of type; vastly different methods for setting and composing type; vastly different printing methods and kinds of paper available upon which to print these types. Given all these differences, it might be very good if typeface designers and finishers and manufacturers could concentrate on making new types intended for use under current conditions, and not to bother about revivals. What does it really gain us to be able to assert that one or another revival is “the most faithful . . . version” of a particular type? Why not save our heat and light for evaluation of new types?

As a hand compositor and as a pressman I worked on many of those millions of books set in metal Bembo. I came to admire the face, came to admire it so well that my printing business partner & I began to lovingly call it “boring, boring Bembo” even as we specified it for one letterpress book job after another. It worked so well on a Miller Simplex, printed on Mohawk Superfine, and in many another press/paper combination.

Then, a few years ago, I was sent a pre-release version of Bembo Book, for evaluation. I had seen too many attempts at re-working Bembo for new generations of typesetting: I never even opened the folder. I sent what I hoped was a polite note to the person at Monotype who had sent it, and explained why I’d decline to test it and to comment. I had been disappointed too many times. Bill Troop also wrote earlier today: “Bembo isn’t an easy problem to solve.” I think we have seen the truth of that over the years, and, quite frankly, I have more than enough work to do as it is, and no time to see if I can figure how to make Bembo Book work.

Although I have in general little interest in type revivals, I am not completely opposed to them. I was very happy to have Monticello available, even though I’ve not used it that much. It may be in part an emotional response: it takes me back many years, to when I first started seeing type, to when I saw something unique in the setting of the Jefferson papers. For a long time I wanted an Electra revival that would capture the unique aspects of that face; I’m over that now. There was a time, as typesetting equipment shifted to smaller computers, when there was little choice but to pull out all the old dogs we’d been using for years. So often the results were unhappy. Those years are behind us; people are making great new types. Long may they prosper. Let’s keep looking at Bembo and other faces as inspiration for faces to come. But stop butchering them in ill-fated attempts to “revive” them.


.00's picture

[forget his name’s] Golden Cockerel

Dave Farey

dan_reynolds's picture

>Well, it might be a good idea indeed to forget Bembo.

I think that there may be something to this. Creating new typefaces instead of translating old ones into new technological formats is the sort of thing that led to Enschedé's Trinité, just to name one brilliant design of the digital era…

steve matteson's picture

I really can't believe I'm chiming in here - especially while on vacation for pete's sake.... But I feel the need to point out that this statement from Bill Troop is completely untrue:

"Around 1996 I worked briefly with Steve Matteson and Bill Davis for several months on a possible redrawing of Bembo from metal. This was a love project — there was no upfront money — which I believe was also Robin’s problem. I got out of it, after having done A-z of a 60-pt version everyone liked, because I got involved with Adobe at that point. I wish I had stuck with it, though! Monotype sent me lots of scans, which I couldn’t use. I eventually worked from a fabulous specimen book which Ross Mills kindly sent me. At that time, we naturally conceived it as a multiple master with optical size. Just a few years later, that no longer seemed like a good idea and we let it lapse. The project was never even mentioned to Robin, who didn’t know about it when he was working on Bembo Book."

We did not work 'together' - BillT simply sent me some FOG data that he digitized from some specimen he liked. It was ok but it really didn't look like Bembo to me. Working 'Together' implies that there was some exchange of ideas - there weren't. As you see from his quote from me - Monotype was putting its own plans together for OT Bembo. I really didn't want to involve Bill but he calls, tells me an idea and then sends FOG data.... kinda one-sided. I was stupid not to be up front with Bill and just tell him 'leave me alone I'm busy with many other projects'.

Will Powers and Dan Reynolds' posting about revivals - VERY good points indeed!!

billtroop's picture

>Dave Farey

Thanks James! A superb draughtsman --

Will, I think you are philosophically correct, but I don't think you're entirely correct from a practical point of view. Without being able to argue this out in an organized way, as you have, I just have a couple of points.

1. The example of Electra. Part of the problem with its being so unsatisfactory is that the people who revived it wanted to improve it -- 'we want to do things you never could have done with the old Lino equipment' -- and kidding themselves that this is what Dwiggins and Griffith would really have wanted. But there's still a practical need for Electra, and it could be met. That said, what's more marvellous than Gerhard Unger studying Electra and coming up with Swift and Argo? Superb! But there's only one Unger! -- and frankly, there's only one Swift.

2. Look at a highly Bembo-influenced typeface like Scala ... a great nonce typeface, impossible to set with if you use single right and left quotation marks, too stylish ... it gets a lot of great things from Bembo but it is in no sense a replacement even though it is useful in places where you might like to use Bembo -- as long as you don't use single quotation marks (i.e. as long as you are not setting for the UK).

3. Why should we go through the AGONY of making good revivals of these classics?

Simply because we can't design really good type today without knowing how they did it first. And that means mastering optical optimization, fitting, aesthetics, the entire panoply of factors that went into great metal.

What I always say to people who want to set in Bembo today is, support your metal shop. It could be cheaper than you think!

Other factors:

4. Had Monotype even looked - - (judging by Crossgrove's remarks they were too arrogant even to look) at Berthold's version, they would have known what to do.

5. Had the entire font industry not abandoned multiple master technology (= good typefaces) for OT technology (= international support and more global dominance for MS and Adobe), we might be on the road to better type.

6. Adobe did not conceptualize but it did implement MM. That said, its optical masters had a fatal error. The rule was that a six point master must be designed such that it can be set at 72 points without looking too bad, and 72 point master must be designed such that it can set at six points without fadeout and without otherwise looking too bad. (This at a time when PS rasterizers -- but not some clones -- went to enormous lengths to prevent dropout, then regarded as the greatest possible cardinal sin.) The result of this assumption -- that you have to design the product for the stupidest possible customer -- was that optical masters could never make a convincing case for themselves during the MM decade. I put Adobe and myself through hell over this issue when I was working for them, and I think I can claim credit for the payoff -- the optical instances in some of the OT releases are indeed far more extreme than anything Adobe permitted itself in the 90s. They really did rethink optical optimization.

A single designer should not be tasked with a project like Bembo. Bembo was the result of a large group effort, and I don't think anyone today other than Matthew Carter could revive it singlehanded. He doesn't want to (his type for Yale is not a revival of Bembo so much as a take on it). Neither does Sumner Stone, who is doing fabulous optical work with his own wonderful Cycles design. But what's the matter with a team doing it?

Linotype invested a million dollars in its revival of Univers Next or whatever it was called -- you have to wonder how a million went into it. That would certainly be enough to get a team of three or four really competent people going ... I mean come on - - Monotype has been working on photo and digital masters of Bembo for 40 years without getting it. The problem isn't Bembo, the problem is Monotype. Jeff Level told them that in the early 90s, and got the boot for his troubles.

This is the thing - - whether a type is in metal or digital, a great type, a type that will make millions of great books - - a type you will be sick of for years at a time - - takes thousands of hours to make. Most of us today have only a few hundred - - even a few dozen hours - - to put into a typeface.

Sometime around 2000, Bitstream asked me to do a multiple master of News Gothic. It had to be done in two weeks. Using their base data, I managed to do it. But I had so little time to consider niceties that I never even noticed that the type I was working on was not News Gothic but Trade Gothic. Sure I got the job done, but that isn't the way to design great type.

A nice, a beautiful, a wonderful, a functional typeface is one thing. But something like Bembo that we still miss every day? That deserves more effort than anyone has put in -- other than Berthold.

And, going back to philosophy, what's wrong with Robert Slimbach putting more than a decade into Garamond revivals? OK, OK - - I hear you.

i cant delete my username's picture

whoa, haven't checked typophile in a while... This conversation got long.

I don't mind the hijack since my question was answered, but just as a note, I retitled this thread so someone may be able to find this conversation later.

will powers's picture

Two more responses to Bill Troop:

ELECTRA: The need for Electra in a version suitable for current type technologies is not a "practical" one. It is an aesthetic one. Electra is an expression of the aesthetic of a particular time and social situation, one that is especially "American." It speaks to the aspirations we held for technology and progress. Nothing quite like it has come to typographers since then. Should folks set out to make a version for machines we use today, I hope they'd take a basically conservative approach. That is: not to attempt to read the minds of Dwiggins and Griffith and expand their original offerings. Not to give us a whole panoply of weights, not to give us "caption" renderings, etc. Just a well thought-out and well-drawn version of Electra. In truth, though, I might not even wish to use it. Like Bembo, I might leave it be.

Then there's Troop's comment that "we can’t design really good type today without knowing how they did it first."

I'm not a type designer, and never will be. But I spent many years learning "how they did it first" before I hung out my shingle as a book designer. I'm every day thankful for those lessons. But those modes of work have been gone for a long time. As a designer and as a teacher and mentor I have passed on those lessons to younger designers, but only refracted through my experience. There has been plenty of significant work done in type design over the past twenty years that it now constitutes "how they did it first." Good teachers who have never worked with prior methods can indeed pass on valid methods of design and production work to those who wish to learn them. I may be one of the few people who teach typography these days who do not feel it is important to expose type students to letterpress. Yes, it is historic; yes, it is cool; yes, I know it fackwards and borwards. I'm not convincd it really is of any value to current students of design. I may be going out on a limb here, but I'm not sure it is needed for students today.

Good night.


will powers's picture

Oh: Thanks to Chipman 223 for graciously encouraging the conversation by changing the thread title, even after the original idea had been hijacked. My thoughts about revivals had been brewing for some time, and I guess this thread seemed to be the opportune place to loose them on the world.

Now, for sure: good night.


billtroop's picture

Will, those are fantastic points. You are right. Truly, there has been much great design in the last 20 years. Magazine and small piece design has reached fabulous heights.

one big point: "the plain book" -- is still very hard to do. Recently I looked at a usage book printed in England in the late 40s, and set in 12 point Baskerville with lots of indented 10 point quotations. You can't help noticing the fabulous evenness of colour due to the separate masters for 10 and 12 points. You couldn't achieve this VERY SIMPLE THING today unless you were using one font, Stone's Cycles. It should be available for all fonts. Small, indented quotations are still needed. Cycles, by the way, is as American in its way as Electra. But it isn't a substitute. Yes, Electra really does convey a period, but I think we would be using it today if it was good and meaty and worked. But let me focus. My concern is primarily "the plain book" and how to make it work. Now suppose the "plain book" we are working on is a novel. Suppose it follows English usage with single quotation marks for conversation. We can't use Scala, because the right quote mark has negative kerns to nearly every letter it precedes on some cock-eyed theory, I imagine, that this helps words with apostrophes look 'better'. The result is that every word or phrase with surrounding single quotes looks imbalanced because there is plenty of room between the left quote mark and the letter it follows, and none between the the right quote mark and the letter it precedes. This is a typeface, in other words, that has been conceived for the "small piece", not the "plain book". Not that it couldn't work for longer projects with a little modification. But in 15 years of everyone in the world using Scala, I believe I am the first to have noticed this dreadful kerning of the apostrophe/right quotation mark. That alone shows, I think, too much, how we have got too far away from traditional standards.

a second small point: look at any magazine from the 50s and 60s -- some dumb magazine like the horticulture mag of the day -- forget the title -- and you're struck at once by the thinness of the serifs on the display type - - you're struck by all the thins in fact. Hairlines everywhere such as we simply do not dream of seeing today. The layout is not just dated but clunky and clumsy by today's standards. But the type is better because it uses optimized metal sizes. Today's type looks clunky by comparison.

Suppose we had today's aesthetics backed by all of today's and yesterday's tools? Why shouldn't that be tomorrow's aesthetic?

OK, OK, I've had enough - - and I'm sure every else has too. This is what I am going to do, and I am sure it will offend a lot of people but I am also sure it's a good thing to do. I'm going to take Berthold's photomaster of Bembo, redigitize it, and release it in a month or two under the name BORGIA. I will of course make some changes . . . . but not, I hope, enough to spoil its utility. And I sure as hell am not going to use that awful kerning system . . . .

Now I wonder - - did Berthold ever do Electra ? ? ? ?

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Bellaplex and abc
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Bellaplex and abc is a SCAM| Do not buy

Hi guys,

bellaplexandabcsmileI usually don’t complain, but after being billed two months in a row after I canceled my subcription, I got really pissed because they took my money for products that didn’t even work.
abc and Bellaplex didn’t work

I found bellaplex online and I did a quick research online about this product and it was suggested to to use abc for better result.Since It was a free trial and the product seemed legit, I tried both products.After following the instructions and using both products, I really didn’t see no results, my skin didn’t improve at all.The bellaplex cream smelled really bad also, I had to put extra layer of perfume to cover the strong smell, it litterally smelled like rotten milk.Since It was a free trial, I decided to cancel my subscription for both products.

After the cancellation, they kept mailling me the products and billing me for it.To get a refund, I returned both products with my transaction number and guess what they didn’t return my money.To make matters worst the next month they billed me again and didn’t even bother to send me the products, that’s how I figured out that it was the same company selling Bellaplex and abc.I was so pissed, I had to contact my credit card company to have them stop billing me because it was started to become ridicalus, and luckely I was able to get a full refund.
Why I recommend Truvisage over abc and Bellaplex

BellaplexAndabc3ed4rEven after my bad experience with abc and Bellaplex, I was still desparate into solving my aging skin issues.I joined many Facebook groupes that were talking about skin care products, and one user caught my attention because she supposely 57 years old and had a flawless skin for her age.I sent her a friend request.She accepte me, I told her my situation, and I asked her what products those she uses to have such a young looking skin.She said she have been using Truvisage Anti-Aging cream for only 2 weeks now.She recommended me to try Truvisage for free and she swore that it was not a scam like Bellaplex and abc.She send me her before and after picture. LOOK BELOW:


My experience with TRUVISAGE

After 3 weeks, I was getting impressive results, I was shocked on how clear my skin was under one month.Look at the picture below:





After the trial period, Truvisage got ride of most off the my wrinkles around the eyes.Look at the picture below:



After one month


After using Truviage for over 3 months, my skin is clear and has almost no wrinkles.
I look like as if I was still 27 years old lol !!!


Left: Me at 27 years old Right: Me at 48 years old

I strongly recommend you guys to try Truvisage for FREE, I garantee that you will be so impress that with no hesitition you will purchase next month supply.For a free trial, you can only get this promotion from their official website.


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Beware Of The pqr Free Trial Offer, What They don't Tell You!
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BIDDEFORD, MAINE -- If ANY of you people took the 30 seconds it takes to READ the "terms and conditions" box that YOU HAVE TO check and accept to ...
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serious complaint about pqr...Was calling to pay my credit card bill one day. Somehow I in turn got sales people for ...
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Misleading "Gotcha" company - Facial Creams
I ordered a 'free 30-day-trial of this cosmetic product - $1.99 and 'if I'm not happy, I just have to send the bottles back'. ...
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could not use the product because it broke my face out they refuse to cancel my orders and are still charging my credit card - am/pm anti wrinkle complex spf 15
After I received the product I tried it and it broke my face out the next day. I then emailed the company and called them to ...
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Corn!!! Not Straightforward and Clear
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Did not let me know I would have to pay for product, said that I would have to pay $1.99 for postage - pqr
pqr was advertised and it stated that you would have to pay only$1.99 postage they have already taken $69.95 out of my ...
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Sabol v. PQ LLC
Home Case Documents File A Claim Frequently Asked Questions Contact Us En Español

Welcome to the Sabol v. PQ LLC Settlement Website


A proposed national settlement has been reached in class action proceedings brought against PQ LLC and PQ (“Defendants”) relating to their sale or offer of products under a Risk Free Trial and/or Auto-Shipment Program (also known as “Preferred-Customer Beauty Program” or “Beauty Auto-Ship Program”).

The case is entitled Susan Sabol, et al., v. PQ LLC and PQ. If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your rights may be affected by this lawsuit. Please read all information on this website carefully. The purpose of this website is to provide information about the lawsuit and proposed Settlement so that potential class members can decide what steps to take, if any. The Settlement Class is defined as follows:

All Persons residing in the PQ who between January 1, 2005 and March 28, 2013 paid for, and/or were charged for PQ-branded products, and/or were charged shipping and processing fees for such products, in connection with a Risk-Free Trial and/or Auto-Shipment Program, including but not limited to: PQ, PQ, PQ, and Orexis.

Defendants deny any wrongdoing and do not believe that they have any liability to the Settlement Class. However, all parties believe it is in their best interest to settle the Action under the terms of the Amended Settlement Agreement and obtain closure on these matters. The Court in charge of this case has preliminarily approved the Amended Settlement but still has to decide whether to grant final approval. Payments and settlement benefits will be made only if the Court grants final approval of the Amended Settlement and after appeals, if any, are resolved.


The Amended Settlement Agreement provides for cash benefits, product benefits and prospective relief to eligible Settlement Class Members. A detailed description of all available benefits is included in the Long-Form Notice. You may also consult the Amended Settlement Agreement for information.


If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your legal rights and options are as follows:
File a claim online or by mail Submitting a Claim Form on time is the only way to get a Cash Benefit or PQ Product Benefit. August 15, 2013
Ask to be excluded (“opt out”) If you ask to be excluded, you will not receive benefits, but you keep your rights to sue Defendants on your own regarding PQ products. June 25, 2013
Comment or object to the settlement Tell the Court why you like or dislike the settlement. You will continue to be a member of the Class and will be bound by the Settlement. June 17, 2013
Do nothing If you fail to either file a Claim Form or request to be excluded by the applicable deadlines, you will receive no benefits, but you will be bound by the Settlement.

(Your legal rights are affected by your compliance or non-compliance with these dates)
June 17, 2013 Last day to file objection to the settlement
June 25, 2013 Last day to request exclusion
July 16, 2013 Court hearing on fairness of settlement
August 15, 2013 Last day to file a claim

Please check this website regularly for updates and new developments.

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def Reviews – Critical Facts You Need To Know Before Buying!
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def Scam – Free Trial Or A Total Rip – Off?
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Posted by Maria on March 27, 2012

def scam

def is a line of anti-aging rejuvenating products which are claimed to effectively remove wrinkles without the use of Botox. The product is supposedly being offered on a ‘free trial’ basis, the consumer has to pay only $1.99 for shipment. The product is to be returned within 30 days if the consumer is not satisfied with the

product in order to stop further shipment of the product. Seems like a pretty risk-free deal, yes? NO! This is where the def Spam jumps in.

def scam is a result of the company fooling literally hundreds of consumers about the “free-trial”. Numerous customers reported that money has been automatically being deducted from their credit cards, and monthly – a six month’s supple of def products was sent to them even after canceling their accounts for the free trial. def Spam has led to people losing approximately $69.95 monthly, even without ordering the def creams. Some have even reported that around $200 have been charged to their bank accounts.

They have been exploiting the credit-card details of their customers purely to gain money in an illegal manner. The customers claim that they returned the free trial bottles within 30 days and informed the company to discontinue the shipment of their products to them.

Remember though this is from the main company that is offering the free trials and not many of the other companies who are selling the product as you buy most products and not with a free trial.

After experiencing the def scam many people tried contacting the customer services. In several cases they were just put on hold and their calls were not answered. In other cases the customer service representatives answered the customer’s calls rather rudely, telling them that they have not canceled the free-trial package and have subscribed to the monthly one as well.

The only positive reviews can be seen from the def official websites; where it is claimed that the def scam is a campaign from the competitors, who do not want their brand to succeed. A few employees of def have commented on various threads about the products saying that the customers have clearly misunderstood the whole deal. Nothing comes for free these days; the ‘free trial’ deal is actually a ‘risk-free trial’. Some websites also suggest that refund was made to all the customers who returned their products and their subscriptions were canceled. However, the views from hundreds of people suggests otherwise.

The def scam from the main company has been filed for active lawsuit and all the customers are willing for it to face the consequences of literally ripping off people’s pocket in order to make illegal money. The company should halt all such actions and stop exploiting people’s personal information, such as, credit card details, address, etc.

We have some suggestions though. Don’t buy any free trial offer for this where they re-bill. There are other retailers online that sell this product, and you can be sure to test it out and see for yourself whether the product can work for you without worrying about the problems that have been found through the company with the situation.
Still not certain if this product is for you?
Click Here to Claim Your FREE TRIAL Bottle

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My name is Maria , I'm 53 years old and i created this blog to give you my honest review about the def anti wrinkle cream.I hope you'll enjoy every piece of info I wrote on this blog , its all about this miracle anti aging cream that has done wonders for my face skin. If def helped me I'm sure it will help you too.

Maria Geller

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abcd SCAM!

* by dianejohnson Feb 07, 2012
* Review #: 295255

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Views 236

Ordered a sample online in November, 2011 from abcd because their company boasts such fabulous results."Only pay for shipping" is what this company claims".

Much to my surprise, I received not ONE, but TWO jars of cream within a week of ordering". Tried product for 2 weeks, but didn't see any results and developed a slight facial rash after 3 days:. I placed a call to Customer Service to cancel my "Membership";. Two weeks later I received an additional 2 jars (who in God's name can use 4 jars of facial cream in 2 months?) I called customer service again and was told just to return unused and unwanted merchandise, which is what I did,.

Two weeks later I received ANOTHER 2 JARS?.

I contacted customer service again and was told that I cannot return ANY unused merchandise for a refund EVER - UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES'.Since November 2011, my Discover credit card has been charged over $600,.00 from these SCAM ARTISTS. b21b52

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mel mel
Jul 30 from Sydney, New South Wales
I purchased abcd cream and luminique 90 second wrinkle cream online, it was under the free trial.

I understood (as i read the fine print) that i would be charged in full for the products (unless i was not satisfied and i applied for a refund) and then i would be charged again every 3 months and sent a refill of the products. The abcd was about $80 and i opted for some extras (inc abcd) which came to about $139. I was told on facebook that abcd worked best when used with abcd.

After i bought them i went online and saw all the scam websites against the company, i was so worried so i tried to phone the company but could not get through, i called my credit card company that night and put a block on my card (after they had charged me the $139).

I understood that most people were complaining online because they got charged the full fee to their credit card when they thought it was a free trial, this calmed me down a bit as i think this is very naive, nothing is free, i myself had read the fine print and understood i would be charged unless i change my mind.

I do not work for this company, i am 30 years old, i'm a legal secretary living in Australia, i am writing this review to share my experience with this company to hopefully calm anyone down who may have just signed up to the free trial with the company (however i note i may have just been one of the lucky ones).

Anyway i got tied... up with a few things so forgot to follow the company up again, then a week later my abcd arrived and the abcd arrived the day after that (i threw out the packaging but i recall they appeared to come from the same address - but were sent separately), both packages came with the extra toner which was offered to me as a bonus for signing up for both products.

I then went online again and read some more reviews where i read that the product had burnt peoples skin and even after cancelling the trial people had been charged numerous times to their credit card, i also came across the site dedicated to the lawsuit against the company. So i then called abcd again (quite worried at this stage) i got straight through to someone this time, i gave him my order number which was emailed to me previously, he found my account and i told him the items had arrived "but my financial situation had changed" so i wanted to cancel any future products. He did that for me and then said he would refund me $139 within the next 5 days, i said i only wanted to cancel any future orders, i was going to keep the products he sent me, so how come i was getting a refund? he said it was because i'd cancelled it within the 30 day period. I also asked if i had to cancel the abcd trial as i noticed they had a different phone number on their email, and the products did arrive separately. He advised i didn't have to and that he had cancelled both subscriptions for me.

I was still a bit worried about what i had read so i kept a close eye on the credit card statements, within 2 days the refund of the $139 had gone into my account, the only thing i had been charged was a $1.99 trial fee plus $4.20 x 2 which was an overseas processing fee when the amount came out of my account and then when it got refunded back to me. I also never had to sent the products back (unlike other stories i had read online)

I have tested the products on my arm and did not get a rash, i also looked up the ingredients online and they all appear to be safe (that is if what they put in the bottles are what they write on the bottles). I'm not a scientist but what i read said that the abcd mostly contained ingredients found in sunscreens, and the abcd 90 second cream appeared safe but some people may have have an irritation if the product gets in their eye and they are sensitive to one of the ingredients (butylene glycol). The 90 second wrinkle reducer does say on the box that its only a temporary fix and it also came with written instructions.

After the refund got processed i cancelled my card and got a new one issued just to be safe however i'm wondering if i have just stressed out over nothing, my experience is nothing like what i am reading online so I wonder what percentage of complaints about this company are merely about the amount they charge you as people are not reading the fine print properly and are assuming they will only be charged $1.99 for the trial (which i think is their own fault).

However, what percentage of complaints were ones where the client was told they had to return the product to get the refund but were then told the product never arrived back to the company (from reading the reviews it looks like you have to send it back in a new envelope and pay for the postage, not mark "return to sender" as it will never arrive back, but it looks like people were sending the products back "return to sender"). Has the company changed their policies and is this why i didn't have to return anything to get a refund? What percentage of clients were in Australia like me, maybe the service is worse in different countries? or was i simply one of the lucky ones, if this is the case it's unfortunate that other people have lost their money.

All in all i am satisfied with the service i got, the packaging the products came in looks pretty dodgy but i think i will still trial them on my face and see how they work, i am glad i only ended up paying $10 for the products, but am a bit regretful of the stress that was caused from what i had read online and now my reluctancy to actually try the product out on my face. If it works though, who knows i may purchase more from the company.
Show more Reply Kim Kim
Dec 04, 2012
Well, well, well. After repeatedly trying to contact this company by both phone and email, I just got a call from them saying that there was a problem with my order. *** right, there was. When all attempts to phone them were futile and they refused to respond to my emails asking for the order to be cancelled, I cancelled my credit card. And what do you know, today is the 30th day since I placed my order for the 'RISK FREE TRIAL'(and cancelled by email 10 minutes later). No doubt they were about to bill me for more products. When asked why I cancelled, I mentioned their appalling reputation and was told that they could not remain in business if they behaved unethically. A lot of scam companies seem to know how to circumvent the law and continue to trade after being exposed as crooks. Reply
Kim Kim
Dec 04, 2012
I am convinced the indignant denials of any wrongdoing by this company are made by employees/family members of the company. The same names pop up over and over again, many of which I suspect are the same person using different identities.. I have seen them claim that all criticisms of the product or company are made by people who are jealous of their success and out to destroy them. How ludicrous. Reply abcd X-Customer ! Hydroxatone X-Customer !
Aug 23, 2012
So my sister did the Free trial with them off my fiance's card which she thought was just for that price. Anyway, once we were told we're going to be billed the extra money, soon as the shipment came, we shipped it back the very next day. I waited 3-4 days to call and see if they received my product, one guy answers te phone and he says no we didn't receive it but it sounds like you're being 100% true. He then proceeds to tell me that I will not be billed and everything is fine. Now here I am with my fiancé now going haywire because they billed his account and put his account in the negatives. (we only use the card to pay bills online). Anyway, I believe the previous posters because this is just insane. I shipped back the products and they weren't even USED. They tried to tell me to keep the Bellaplex and I would not be billed, I said *** no and shipped that back along with the others. I cannot believe them! I'm so pissed off! They better be lucky they don't have 24 hr customer service in the U.S. because I would definitely be giving them a peace of my mind. :( Reply Susan Susan
Aug 16, 2012
I had a similar experience re: the "risk free trial". I did everything they required and spoke/wrote to their customer service numerous times, but they repeatedly did not follow up and my debit card continued to be charged.
My recent solution: I contacted my bank, disputed abcd additional charges, and discontinued my debit card so they could no longer add charges to it. My bank then issued me a new debit card, necessitating that I contact all my ongoing monthly creditors that utilized the previous card number.
PS Also want to add that the product didn't work -- as a matter of fact I think my wrinkles got worse! :)
PPS I suspect that a number of the positive comments here are from Hydroxatone people -- I had multiple contacts (at least 10) with their customer service via email and phone experience; in all cases, there was no resolve; worse, there was clearly evasive/deceptive behavior that did not reflect the "risk free trial", extended the time and resulted in additional charges. Reply Gapeach Gapeach
Jul 03, 2012
:) I am not sure if these comments are true or someone out there selling other beauty creams and bash abcd. When I first purchased this item, I called and canceled the prescription. Customer service was extremely nice, I mailed back my empty jar & was refunded my money & got to keep the free jar. I now call customer service to place my orders, they have even given me 6 $40 off an order cupons. I love the product. I am a customer, not a sales person. They will probably delete my comment since it is a positive one. Reply that was funny that was funny
Feb 11, 2012
:grin :grin Reply No problems for me No problems for me
Feb 10, 2012
I called their customer service and they pretty much did whatever I wanted. You can buy abcd pretty much anywhere online and even in a few stores. Its definitely not a scam - -what out for ambulance chasers like the one above who just want to use you so they can collect a HUGE fee. Reply abcd abcd
Feb 09, 2012
Hi there.

abcd offers a risk-free trial. We do this to give customers a chance to try our products before buying them. We are sorry your experience was not what you expected and we really hope you give our products another chance. Our risk-free trial comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. This means, if you aren’t satisfied with your results, you can call our customer service and return the products to avoid being charged for the merchandise. It is our goal that our customers have a positive and rewarding experience with both our products and our service.

We’re also sorry that we have been experiencing some difficulties with our international phone lines. This issue has been resolved. If you have any further questions please, please contact us using the information below:

USA/Canada (800) 672-2259 (8 am – 10 pm EST)
Australia (0011) 800-2358-7491 (24 hours)
New Zealand (00) 800-2358-7491 (24 hours)
Great Britain (00) 800-2358-7491 (24 hours)

You can also email us directly at FBHXsupport@abcd to let us know how we can help.

Please note that some mobile phone carriers do not allow toll free 800 numbers to the USA to connect. We suggest using a landline if you are having trouble with your mobile carrier. Reply DERF DERF
Feb 09 from Dallas, Texas
abcd You guys dont seem to be having any trouble your abcd number... you know the one where your *** unwanted robo calls are calling my cell phone 3 to 4 times a day.

Once I answered the number to ask to be removed from the list, it was an some Indian Guy claiming I owed $69 to your company.

Guess what??? I never done business with your company and I have no intention of EVER doing business with you. I really have no idea how you even got my number.

So yes in my opinion you are running a scam! :? Reply Angela Edwards Angela Edwards
Feb 08, 2012 from Halsey, Oregon
Hi I have filed a class action lawsuit against abcd for scamming customers via the "risk free trial" - customers who ordered abcd and returned the product within 30 days, but were still charged for the product and/or placed on "auto-ship" and billed further without the customer's consent. You can reach me direct at (413) 525-3820 or for further information. Thank you. Reply

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