Purchasing Fonts

phrostbyte64's picture

A couple of days ago I asked a questions concerning a specific font company. I was rightfully instructed that it was not a proper discussion. No worries there, I pulled the plug. Before I was enlightened, I did get a couple of responses I wasn't expecting. The tone was that a certain segment of the population prefers to buy their fonts directly from the foundry.

That begs the question - where do you purchase most of your fonts from: large scale operations (MyFonts or Fonts.com) or directly from the foundries? Why?

Thanks for your input and Happy Holidays.
James

Quincunx's picture

I have bought typefaces from FontShop, OurType and Underware.
So basically straight from the foundry/developer (The fonts bought from FontShop being FontFonts, and the fonts from OurType and Underware being their own).

fontplayer's picture

When I had money to buy fonts, I really liked MyFonts. Easy to use. Free back-up download. Decent pricing. Then again, it probably supports the effort better to buy directly from the person who made the font.

pattyfab's picture

As I said in the other thread, I theoretically prefer to buy direct from the foundries. However I have also found that the payment setup can be more complicated and laborious depending on the foundry. Myfonts and Fontshop are really streamlined that way - they remember your info and you get an immediate download. I had one foundry recently direct me to a payment site (not paypal) that made me a little nervous, then there was a delay because the guy who ran/owned the foundry didn't get to his email right away and I didn't get the actual font download for quite a while. It was frustrating as I was in the middle of a job and really needed the instant gratification you get from the larger foundries or vendors.

Stephen Coles's picture

When I license fonts for personal use I buy directly from the maker whenever possible, so they get the most from the sale. But remember that some font makers don't have direct sales -- by choice. Some would rather partner with a foundry or retailer so they can concentrate on drawing type rather than managing a website, transaction infrastructure, customer relations, and tech support. Font retailers offer more to a font maker than marketing and a shopfront.

boardman's picture

I, too, try to purchase directly from the maker or foundry. However, from a logistical standpoint, I've encountered two minor problems in doing so. First, foundries sometimes don't have a way of providing automated emails to clients when updates are released; MyFonts is great in this regard, as mentioned previously. Second, if a maker or foundry does not have an automated download feature on their site (e.g. they use PayPal alone), the wait for receiving the purchased typeface can be excruciating. :)

.00's picture

Selling and managing one's own intellectual property is, to me, one of the more interesting aspects of doing type design. And while we are a small outfit, we do have automated payment processing and downloading.

speter's picture

Having licensed Rawlinson from James, I can attest that his setup works quite well.

The reason I like to go directly to the designers is the personal contact. If I have a question or need to modify a glyph (linguists like to create odd notations), I can discuss things with the person who actually made the font, rather than a sales or licensing department.

Stephen Coles's picture

Good point, Steve.

.00's picture

It is a really good point Steve, and one that gets overlooked by a lot of folks.

There have been lots of discussions here on Typophile and elsewhere, of EULA's and font modifications, with some commenters saying that they would never license fonts from sources whose EULAs not allow modifications.

Well, our EULA does not allow modifications, but Steve contacted me (we actually discussed this initially face-to-face at a TDC event) and wanted to know if he could add some additional glyphs to Rawlinson, and to change it from OT to a Type1 font so he could use it in TEX. I agreed and gave him permission. I would most likely do the same thing if another potential client requested it.

So, you might ask, why we have the restriction in our EULA? Simply to better control our intellectual property. One reason we only license our wares via our own website.

JamesM

pattyfab's picture

Ditto - altho Typophile also provides a nice "in" to type designers. I once had a designer give me an extra set of lining figs and fractions which I really needed for a project, even tho I had bought the font thru FontShop. Very helpful.

dezcom's picture

When I know a designer personally, I prefer to buy direct from them. This way, they get a bigger percentage of the price quoted. If I don't know the designer but know their reputation and that their site works well, I also purchase from them. I don't like Monotypes's web site so I never shop there. I definitely like the new MyFonts site and their backup policy so I use them frequently.

ChrisL

Stephen Coles's picture

> backup policy

As far as I know, all the major resellers keep your files as a backup in your website account. I know FontShop does.

dezcom's picture

"As far as I know, all the major resellers keep your files as a backup in your website account. I know FontShop does."

I probably was not clear in my statement, Stewf. What I meant was that with MyFonts, you can always log in and re-download a font you purchased previously. You also see everything you have purchased from them.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

"I agreed and gave him permission. I would most likely do the same thing if another potential client requested it."

James sites another good reason to get to know your type designer. EULAs are in place to protect intelectual property from fraudulant usage and hinder piracy. This does not mean that a legitimate client can't ask for and receive permission to do something prohibited by the EULA. James granted permission for a reasonable request. I am sure many designers would do the same if it was reasonable and the client was a trusted person. The moral of the story is that you should ASK the type designer or foundry before you do anything outside the EULA. They really do want to help their legitimate clients.

THANKS, JAMES!

ChrisL

Stephen Coles's picture

> What I meant was that with MyFonts, you can always log in and re-download a font you purchased previously.

Yes, that's exactly what I mean. Your FontShop.com account offers the same function.

dezcom's picture

Thanks, Stewf! I did not know that!

ChrisL

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