Building a typeface collection if you're not a millionaire

PCM's picture

Hi all,

I've been wondering this for years, especially as my collection of typefaces only inches towards becoming halfway decent. I do actually buy my software and fonts, and find it often financially prohibitive to purchase anything new or exciting that comes out.

So, for a freelancer like myself, who is not rolling in it, what is the best way to accumulate great fonts? Do you bill clients for them, and if so, how do you brace them for a couple-hundred in expenses for a typeface?

Curious,

-C

Randy's picture

I write it into my contract and treat them like photography, illustration, printing, web hosting, or any other third party expense. Clients have no problem seeing the value of these other things, so a line item about fonts in your estimate should not raise any eyebrows. If it does, you have an opportunity to educate your client. Find a price that works for them and then find a font that fits their price. Around $200 gives you lots of options for a 4 weight family. Depending on what kind of job you're doing, don't forget to include a license for you, and for them (if they need it).

Alternatively, just pad your estimate by the amount you need for the fonts. Problem with this is that you can be tempted to pocket the extra yourself and use Myriad! Haha.

nina's picture

"Alternatively, just pad your estimate by the amount you need for the fonts."
FWIW, I do this most of the time, especially for small projects that entail no other third-party expenses to speak of (and no custom fonts or anything that's obviously "special", like for other languages/scripts or something). Also, if the fonts don't feature on the estimate, I don't usually get the "but I paid for the fonts, I should have them" line, which is also nice.

"Problem with this is that you can be tempted to pocket the extra yourself and use Myriad! Haha."
Couldn't happen to me – I'm really in this for the fonts. :-)

PCM's picture

Thanks folks. Good pointers.

Jackson's picture

They're also an investment. Better tools = better results = cash money.

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