Where to buy a font?

Devadaru's picture

Okay, say I want to purchase a classic typeface like Perpetua (Eric Gill). I would want the Open-type version with the text figures, small caps, etc. (The regular version came/comes with MS.) Where would I buy it?

It's originally a Monotype face. On their website, you can pay $99 for seven fonts, including 3 weights of titling. But do these fonts have the text figures and small caps? Their website is a bit confusing, and doesn't convince me...

At Myfonts, you can pay $99 for four fonts from Adobe. Of course one could go directly to Adobe for the same thing. Is this the same font software as from Monotype, with just a different name, and without the titling fonts? And why or why not purchase from one or the other? Support Myfonts? or cut out the "middleman"?

Then, Linotype is selling a 7-font package for $246. This looks like the same package that Monotype has, but for more than double the price. Is it? Or is this the version with the small caps etc? Then maybe the Monotype version is the plain jane version?

I'm sure many other vendors are selling Perpetua, at different prices, maybe different versions--Fontshop, ITC, oh wait, ITC is Monotype, uh ... or no, "powered by Monotype Imaging", whatever that means.

It's a bit confusing out there in the online font marketplace. I'd appreciate the guidance from some experienced font-buyers here. (Or maybe there's a good thread on this already?)

dan_reynolds's picture

The $99 packet from Fonts.com does not seem to have all the OpenType features that you might want. If you search for Perpetua, scroll down until you see the Perpetua "Pro" complete package. This should cost about the same as the OpenType Pro package at Linotype. These are the newest, most fully-featured OpenType versions of Perpetua. Adobe's versions are older, and don't have as many features. The font data on the Fonts.com and Linotype website should be the same.

Note that Monotype also sells Std versions of these same fonts. These are easier to find on the Linotype site, I think. They'll save you a bit of money. Primarily., the difference between the Std and Pro Monotype OpenType fonts is in language support, not typographic features (but always look at the icons and read any descriptions anyway!). The Pro fonts will cover the Central and Eastern European languages that use the Latin script, while the Std fonts are primarily marketed at the languages in the Americas and Western Europe.

If you want a Monotype font, you'll be best served at one of Monotype's websites (Fonts.com, Linotype.com, itcfonts.com or faces.co.uk). Each of those sites have their own histories. I have a feeling that each site also has features that certain customer groups tend to like more then others. Who knows! But I hope that I've been able to answer your question about Perpetua.

Stephen Coles's picture

The pricing is generally going to be the same on all the retail sites. If you want to see what's included in each font, you can see the entire character set at MyFonts or FontShop who have the most advanced viewers.

Devadaru's picture

Thanks for the help. I did not realize that Linotype and Monotype were merged, that there are four websites for Monotype. I do find the FontShop viewer to be very helpful in determining exactly what one gets in a font.

Is fontmarketplace.com legitimate? How can they offer the regular titling at $5?

Stephen Coles's picture

I don't know where they got their version of Perpetua, but Ascender looks like they are pulling a Wal-Mart with Fontmarketplace, cutting costs even below their own to siphon customers to their site.

Devadaru's picture

Alack and alas! I have examined the Perpetua from Monotype on our computer--the one that shipped with MS Office--more closely. This not even close to the Perpetua that I love. Does anyone know if that version (1.76, 1991–1995) has been redrawn for the current "Perpetua Pro" font? Because the spacing is sad, and, well, the letters are like skeletons.

I am discovering the tragedy of classic typefaces digitized. The Perpetua I know is from a 1970 book printed in Japan; an offset reprint of a letterpress original...

Mark Simonson's picture

Ascender is attempting to sell to the non-professional market, the kind of people who tend to resort to free fonts (bundled or freeware) because they think fonts are too expensive. The fonts are only offered in TTF format and, other than good multi-lingual support, don't have advanced typographic features. I don't think it's a bad idea if it gets people to pay for fonts who might not otherwise. Given what they are offering in terms of selection and format, it probably won't lure many people away from the professional font market.

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