Mecanorma Graphic Book

whyawhelk's picture


I'm new to this forum and I wanted to ask a question of the more experienced typophiles out there. I was recently involved in a discussion over at MyFonts, where a font was identified as Pinto Inline, an undigitised font by Graphic Systems (that's what it says in my catalogue anyway).

A user asked for the full set of characters, which I subsequently scanned, badly, from a Mecanorama catalogue I had lying around, and uploaded to my Photobucket account.

Now I'd really like to scan that font properly, along with a few other obscure, not digitally available ones from that catalogue, and upload them just for the reference of those font lovers out there who'd like to see them, many of them have been identified at WhatTheFont from scans, logos and the like, but I'm worried that I might be inviting trouble. One the one hand, I think they should be seen, but on the other hand I don't want unscrupulous folks coming in, digitising them and running away with the credit. The catalogue itself isn't even dated, some of the fonts are credited to people or foundries, some aren't, I assume Mecanorama owned those, though I'm not sure. Should I scan and share with as much credit and copyright info as I can, or should I leave them in my bookcase to gather dust, just in case? I feel kind of bad having this record here on my coffee table and not being able to share it with anyone, but on the other hand, I don't want to be doing anything that verges on illegality.

I'd welcome any advice. Thanks.

Jean Paul Beumer's picture

Won't you be infringing copyrights when you publish on the internet...? Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of making it available to the public domain, but you'll probably need approval from Mecanorma/designers/foundries. Having said that, I would love to see them! I'm a big fan of old-style Mecanorma and Letraset type.

whyawhelk's picture

I don't really know, that's the problem. Is an image of a font a font or an image? If someone posts a scan of a complete character set to WhatTheFont and asks me what font it is and where they can buy it, which has happened in the past few days, and I tell them what font it is, and that's it's not digitally available but it was designed by so-and-so in the year such-and-such, what has actually happened in that exchange that would differ from me posting a complete character set to a blog and saying "Hey, I like this font, it was designed by so-and-so in the year such-and-such, shame it hasn't been digitised." Would either of us be infringing copyright? Should I refrain from doing that? I'm not even really that worried that people/foundries would jump on me for copyright, but that someone would take the image and run with it and do a Creampuff, as it were, and that that would be my fault.

Florian Hardwig's picture

it‘s not about the font’s copyright, but the catalogue’s copyright.
What Jean Paul (omahuisje) said.

whyawhelk's picture

I'm not looking to reproduce the catalogue itself, though, or even pages from the catalogue or any of its layout. Just 8 or 9 fonts from a collection of 300 from the one section in the catalogue that deals with font transfers, just the A-Z 1-0 characters, nothing else on the page. Copyrightwise, wouldn't they be classified more or less as "underlying work" in an anthology, as it were?

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