Homage or plagiarism?

diseasefaktory's picture

Hello fellow typophiles!

With my first post I come to present you the new corporate font of the Centro Portugues de Design (Portuguese Design Center). It`s not a Design ruling body per se, but it`s probably the most important organization for design in Portugal.

In the attached image you can see their new sans serif corporate font, CPD Sans, designed by Hugo d`Alte in 2009 or 2010.

They presented this font on their Facebook page and I immediately recognized it and made a little comparison with FF DIN, which i`m sure everyone here knows.

I pasted their image and wrote the same set of characters on top of it, using FF DIN, size 34pt. The kerning is exactly the same.

Your opinion? Is this blatant plagiarism? Could they have had permission to make subtle alterations to the font and release it as their own?

Coming from such a reputable organization and with considerable resources I would have at least expected something new... original!


Nick Shinn's picture

Firstly, DIN was designed long ago and was always public domain.
FF DIN is a particular iteration of it.

So there is nothing to stop anybody else doing their version, even though the digital FF DIN has become so well known and much used.

However, other copies must not use FF DIN's digital data as a starting point.

Secondly, plagiarism means copying without recognition of the source, so if there is no mention in the collateral literature of CPD Sans that it is a version of DIN, then that would indeed be plagiarism.

Thirdly, because FF DIN is such a subtle and extensive iteration of DIN, if CPD sans takes a lot of its form from Pool's work, rather than the original of the 1930s, then that too could be seen as plagiarism, even if there is no "point piracy".

hugoalte's picture

1. CPD Sans & CPD Serif are not custom original designs for CPD (Centro Português de Design).
These typefaces were developed as part of an identity update. These typefaces were developed
from previous work as agreed with CPD (Centro Português de Design).

2. CPD Sans is based on DIN, it's in fact a development of an earlier (experimental) work done internally
at the biggest advertising agency in Finland (SEK from the GREY Group), a rounded version of DIN (some
time before DIN rounded was published). This earlier work was never used. This was known in advance.

3. CPD Sans was develop primarily to replace Futura typeface on CPD's logotype. Nothing else.

4. CPD Serif is in fact CPD's corporate typeface - to be used in it's stationary and internal/ external communications.

5. CPD Serif is a customized version of a typeface designed by me and currently being developed
for it's commercial release (this typeface known as Rolland). Also CPD Serif was chosen by CPD
to be customized for their internal use: http://cargocollective.com/hugoalte/13224/Rolland

hugoalte's picture

The CPD mark is designed by Eugenio Chorão.

hugoalte's picture

Now, if this person (André Vieira) doesn't know what he's talking about, and has no knowledge whatsoever of the project's details, he should really keep his thoughts to himself, before spreading on Typophile and Facebook (anywhere else?) that the work is a ripoff .

David Waschbüsch's picture

@diseasefaktory: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Regardless what hugoalte is talking I find it intersting to see.

@hugoalte: He raised a question, nothing more.

Frode Bo Helland's picture

That serif is absolutely beautiful, although I’m not too crazy about the spacing. Will you release it for sale at some point?

Bendy's picture

What a cool tilde! And a lovely font altogether!

Santiago Orozco's picture

beautiful tilde!!!!!!!

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