Amplitude specimen

Marius Ursache's picture

If anyone here has Font Bureau's Amplitude (by Christian Schwartz), I would appreciate a helping hand.

I need to decide if Amplitude is suitable as display/text face for a corporate id programme, but the PDF specimen on FB's site is not relevant.

It would be great if someone could take these 2 Adobe Illustrator files and set them in Amplitude Regular/Bold and Amplitude Condensed Reg/Bold. Send them to me as PDF files, so I can print them out.

Thank you so much

application/postscriptText specimen (188.1 k)

application/postscriptDisplay specimen (161.2 k)

John Nolan's picture

I'm pretty sure the standard Font Bureau EULA doesn't allow embedding in PDfs.

mrriddle's picture

John - you could always outline the paths.

On the other hand fonts are created to be used and as such should be allowed to be embedded. I'm not sure how you could actually recreate a font from a pdf? Maybe the licenses should be more relaxed.

I'm aware of some licenses allowing printers/prepress houses to use a copy for the express purpose of printing that document. All licenses should reflect real world usage - who wants to pay good money for a one off usage of a font only have it unprintable due to a printer not having it? (Or paying extra on the print job for the same reason!)

Marius Ursache's picture

It's easier to recreate the font is you use PDFs with fonts converted to outlines.

It's pretty imposible (as far as I know) to extract the outlines from PDF 1.5 or 1.6.

About licensing: I admire smaller type foundries and individual designers who offer MUCH more flexible licensing.

Marius Ursache's picture

John is right, the FB EULA does not allow embedding:

However, it seems that they require a separate agreement for embedding (I do not know at what extra cost).

Anyway, FB seem to have lousy customer support. I emailed them 2 days ago with a couple questions regarding Amplitude and I still haven't heard from them.

marcox's picture

Marius, call or e-mail a font retailer (Veer, FontShop, etc.) that carries the Font Bureau line. They're more likely to be responsive. The nice folks at Veer made me a PDF a few months ago.

pablohoney77's picture

okay now i'm confused... i was reading FB's EULA at the link provided above. and it seems that embeding is restricted and then i came to this:

(c) Licensee is authorized to create non-editable .pdf formatted documents using the Font Software for the purposes of output printing at a service bureau or printer.

is this contradictory or what? are EULAs always this confusing?

pablohoney77's picture

i guess i shoulda read this a bit closer:

(a) Except as may be specifically permitted herein, all embedding and transmission of the Font Software is prohibited.

so it seems that you CAN embed FB fonts, if you follow their stipulations.

John Nolan's picture

Yeah, so one can't give Marius a PDF, right?

Marius Ursache's picture

:-) I guess that is right, John. I am trying to contact FB again for these details. Thank you all for your help.

John Nolan's picture

Marius, I hope you don't think me picky. I'm not at all keen on embedding restrictions. You might want to take a look at Unit, from Font Shop. I think their EULA is looser.

Hildebrant's picture

Joseph: Agreed.

Marius Ursache's picture

I saw Amplitude used in Wallpaper magazine and it does a great job, both as text and display type.

Basically I have to make a choice between:

FB Amplitude
FF Unit
FF Zwo

Any advice? Take into consideration I need a modern sans typeface that works both as display and text. It is going to be used for a corporate id program.

kentlew's picture

Marius --

I alerted Harry Parker at Font Bureau to your unanswered e-mail. He said he's been swamped and hasn't been able to answer all the general e-mail. I hope that he has replied to you by now. If not, let me know.

Re: Font Bureau EULA.
This is not an official interpretation, so don't quote me . . . but, I believe the FB license is meant to allow embedding for a PDF print workflow, when the document is just being sent to a service bureau or commercial printer for direct output to film or plates for print reproduction. And to allow embedding in uneditable documents for sharing with clients for comping and approval purposes only.

On the other hand, I believe what they want to curtail (without an expanded, specific license for such) is embedding for digital documents that are being published and distributed online or in an all-digital environment -- i.e., where the digital document is the end-product. Or editable documents that are meant to be passed back and forth in a workgroup and edited using the embedded fonts by others who don't have the fonts licensed and resident on their machine.

I've alerted FB that this is an area of confusion and frustration, and I've been told that they're in the process of clarifying what the EULA allows and forbids in this regard.

Hope this helps.

-- Kent.

Marius Ursache's picture

Hey Kent,

Thanks. I contacted Christian Schwartz and he also gave me Harry's email address. The info@fontbureau address seems to be getting tons of spam, and I wrote to Harry, who has been very helpful.

About embedding in PDFs: as far as I know, this is reminiscent from the old days when you could extract at least the glyphs from the temporary files Acrobat created when reading a PDF.

It seems that extracting fonts from PDF version 1.5 or better is impossible. Maybe Thomas Phinney could tell us more?

Same thing goes with Flash - most embedded glyphs are optimized, and lose details - they are not original shapes.

Anyway, I think foundries should adapt their EULA to take into account the current technologies, and not restricting the users.

Thomas Phinney's picture

Regarding embedding and extracting fonts from PDF:

- yes, it is technically possible to extract fonts from PDFs. The kerning and any additional layout tables will generally be lost. Any glyphs not embedded will be lost.

- More recent flavors of PDF make it even harder in that the encoding is very non-obvious. Of course, it once the font is in a font editor one can re-encode it, but there's extra work involved, probably manual work.

Generally, Adobe does not claim that PDF is secure against having fonts extracted. But stuff gets lost along the way, and there are much easier methods of pirating fonts. We use PDFs for samples and such of our own fonts, and do not know of any significant real-world piracy resulting from this practice (although some font developers have certainly demonstrated the theoretical possibility).



Marius Ursache's picture

Well, I guess it's worth buying the font rather than spending days to recreate it in a font editor :-)

dezcom's picture

>I guess it's worth buying the font rather than spending days to recreate it <

My theory is that thieves are generally lazy. Their point is that stealing is much easier than working.

Joe Pemberton's picture

Unit (Erik Spiekermann and Christian Schwartz) and Amplitude
(Christian Schwartz) have some similarities. Amplitude is more
of a display face and Unit is more a workhorse face - even though
that's a fine line given their similarities.

I've gotten a chance to use Unit a fair bit and like it a lot. I'm
looking for the right excuse to use Amplitude cuz it's mighty
tasty looking.

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