Announcing Lorimer by James Puckett (now irrelevant)

blank's picture

The fonts originally announced in this post are no longer being distributed. To avoid any confusion, the announcement has been removed.

Michael Green's picture

R, P and r blow my mind

eliason's picture

Congrats James. I'm curious about the inscriptions that inspired the face. Were they u&lc?

blank's picture

This is the inscription.

The inscription turned into a single light narrow sans font, below left. From there I developed the masters for a narrow family, eventually ending up with the design on the right, or at least something thereabouts.

Then I decided to expand it into a multi-width family and developed a wider version—the fonts just released. The original narrower version is almost finished, but at some point I decided to break the releases up just to make the thought process manageable.

Nick Shinn's picture

More fun than Armitage, as you had promised!
I guess you're saving the Horror for later...

eliason's picture

It's got a real nineteenth-century American feel, to me. The lowercase you invented to fit with the found caps fits well.

blank's picture

The Lorimer type family is now available from MyFonts with personal use pricing for student & nonprofit use.

Santiago Orozco's picture

love the K!!!

blank's picture

Lorimer is now on The Pirate Bay! See the original post above for details.

cdavidson's picture

Out of curiosity, why did you post a link to the Pirate Bay? If one of my fonts was released like that, I'd be trying to keep people away from that source!

Nick Shinn's picture

Is he hoping that a dimwit (to use Uli's pet term) graphic designer at a large agency will use an unlicensed copy of the font in a large campaign for a blue chip company, thereby opening the door for some highly remunerative litigation?

blank's picture

Out of curiosity, why did you post a link to the Pirate Bay?

It’s something I’ve wanted to try for a long time. The software, music, and movie industries have all been using piracy to promote their products for years. And I’ve long suspected that a few popular type foundries are doing it, because it seems odd how many custom magazine fonts end up in the work of Indian college students before the commercial release. I never bothered before because people bought my work anyway. But Lorimer wasn’t selling, and even the free downloads were tapering off, so I decided to try this.

…opening the door for some highly remunerative litigation?

If I was making enough money to hire an IP lawyer I’d be way to busy for stunts like this.

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Interesting poker ads, James... Is the gambling industry going to fund the multitudes of type designers?

mjkerpan's picture

Just wondering: if you want to make your font free for non-commercial use, why do it through TPB and the like rather than putting it up on your own site along with some sort of text that makes it clear that commercial users need to pay and that any unauthorized commercial use will be punished?

blank's picture

Is the gambling industry going to fund the multitudes of type designers?

Because if I add any number or combination of fonts to my own web site I’m just one more font designer/vendor giving out free fonts. Thich describes most font designer/vendors today so nobody would even notice. But thousands of people will try out anything that shows up on TPB, which drives tons of traffic to my web site, and hopefully that will translate to sales. If it doesn’t I’ve lost nothing because nobody was buying the Lorimer family to begin with.

Richard Fink's picture

Makes sense to me! And thanks for sharing.

mskala's picture

I'm contemplating the reverse tactic for Tsukurimashou - you can get it free now, and I don't much care about making money with it, but some future version will also be available for sale, because some people will buy a product they wouldn't accept for free. What these plans have in common is recognizing that free fonts and pay fonts reach different audiences, so you can maximize your exposure by offering both.

snow is nigh's picture

And did your business experiment work out? Or is it too early to tell?

hrant's picture

Interesting.

hhp

blank's picture

And did your business experiment work out?

Not exactly. See, thousands of people downloaded the font. And nobody bought it, but that's because those weird letters with the diagonal crossbars and such were a stupid idea, and I should have killed them when I gutted some far more prominent idiosyncracies (Lorimer was once a 20-font family that looked like the Merz logo). But I did see a nice uptick in overall font sales. Anyway, Lorimer No. 2, minus all that weird stuff, should go out to beta testers by the end of the week.

Richard Fink's picture

>But I did see a nice uptick in overall font sales.

wondering if you'll see the same with Lorimer No2.

hrant's picture

So, conclusions?

hhp

apankrat's picture

/me grabs popcorn, sits down next to hrant

blank's picture

So, conclusions?

The original Lorimer design was too weird to be useful, so I don’t even sell it anymore. It’s a symptom of spending too much time drawing letters alone in an apartment while conversing with dogs. If anything I have learned why so many type designers lean towards conservative and established styles—the moment one goes off on a tangent things can easily spiral out of control into a family of fonts of no practical value. So giving it away was a pointless exercise; like giving away screwdriver handles with no shafts.

But beyond that, I’ve gone back to the belief that free fonts are pointless. If I release free fonts nobody has any way of knowing that I’m not just another college kid posting his class project to the internet. Getting attention with free fonts is no easier than with paid fonts, because just like paid fonts, there’s already too much out there. It works well for guys like Chank and Larabie and Jos Buivenga because they started doing it when few people were and have done it for so long that designers expect good work. Sure there are some other people who have done well with free fonts, like Code Pro, but I think that has more to do with having the right design for the time than the font actually being free.

I also don’t see any point in contributing to the notion that fonts should be free because there’s no sane business proposition for doing so. I’m not Trent Reznor. I can’t give a type family away to millions of people to promote my worldwide stadium tour and then make tens of millions of dollars. And I’m not a free software author. I can’t give a font away and then expect people to hire me to flesh it out with four more weights in two styles with small caps.

hrant's picture

This all sounds pretty level-headed, especially coming from somebody
who gave it a shot. I think you should write an article for Typographica.

hhp

Jackson's picture

seconded

rosaiani's picture

Maybe the unorthodox shapes should have alternatives, so that more conservative designers would consider it. But they shouldn't be ditched for there maybe people wanting that exact shape later.
Also, from my limited experience in selling fonts, it seems like apple's strategy of simplifying the buying options leaves customers less confused.
I'm inclined to think that people who buy personal use will use it for commercial purposes (in good or bad intentions). Having many instances of licensing will make them think twice about buying it in first place rather than getting it by impulse (I keep thinking of pc vs mac decision process). So why not make it simple and maybe more affordable if it makes sense.

I think the pirate bay thing would be great, but your stunt should maybe be pulled in twitter or more spreadable market oriented media. Probably tweeting that you just found this crazy cool font torrent at TPB. This way you'd found a larger audience prone to downloading/retweeting and hopefully buying it).

And I'm with you, that piracy may help boost sales eventually, rather than hurt it. I think we sometimes get so worried about protecting it that we eventually forget to think about ways to market it and how the customers think.

hrant's picture

> apple's strategy of simplifying the buying
> options leaves customers less confused.

That only works for people who are
buying a brand and not a product.

hhp

rosaiani's picture

I think at that time, people were buying a product, not just a brand, as apple's brand equity was in an all time low and IBM was the main player then. Of course by comparing apple to PC I have brought many other aspects to light one of them being brand. But when apple did it at the time people started buying more Macs compared to macs themselves (aside from other brands).

Anyways, back to fonts, the variables are many. James had a typeface in which he later experienced had no commercial value, tried different things to it etc. All in all, I'd love to know more about these strategies and how people have failed and succeeded with them, and I found James aproach very valid.

On a sidenote, I really liked Lorimer 2, looks great.

Chris Dean's picture

@Dunwich: Not sure if it was mentioned somewhere in this thread (I have not read all the comments) but in your original post the link “Lorimer is available for print and web use from Fontspring” takes me to a page that doesn’t exist.

riccard0's picture

@Christopher: that's because Lorimer in its original form doesn't exists anymore (http://typophile.com/node/78056#comment-493012).

hrant's picture

> To avoid any confusion

Sorry, that's hard to swallow.

--

Although I never downloaded the font, I did just go into
Google's cache to extract the original post (with images)
and download the (still available) PDF file. If anybody
is interested let me know.

Related:
http://typophile.com/node/85727#comment-487786

hhp

eliason's picture

Why is that hard to swallow? This is a thread in the release section that announced a typeface that has been pulled from the market.

hrant's picture

Calling that "confusing" is a front.

hhp

Nick Shinn's picture

James, I disagree with your theory that the original Lorimer failed because it was too weird to be useful.
Admittedly, I have designed some way weirder faces that rarely sell—however, I do have a few faces with odd characters that sell well.

In the case of the original Loriner, the oddities are not particularly attractive when viewed individually, and stand out too much from the rest of the glyphs.
The trick is to make them attractive as individual glyphs, and make them feel at home amongst the other glyphs. Then they can become the memorable “trademark” idiosyncracy, like “g” in Baskerville or “g, y, z” in Bree.

aluminum's picture

"That only works for people who are
buying a brand and not a product."

While I realize you mentioned that only as a Apple jab, it's an interesting topic. And, in fact, it's true. Apple or otherwise.

There's a great article on Trader Joe's and how their success is very much about limiting options:

http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/20/news/companies/inside_trader_joes_full_v...

"Swapping selection for value turns out not to be much of a tradeoff. Customers may think they want variety, but in reality too many options can lead to shopping paralysis."

Another interesting take is the 'paradox of choice':

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paradox_of_Choice:_Why_More_Is_Less

Is this related to retail font sales at all? I dunno. I can say that when my non-type friends ping me for type advice, they usually mention "there's just too many options on myfonts...help me narrow it down".

I know of no solution to that problem, nor would I advocate that there be less typefaces or fewer options on Myfonts.

But it's an interesting topic.

hrant's picture

But some brands enjoy much more loyalty than others.
And brands with high loyalty get away with more "bad
behavior", like tracking your every move with a fully
legal but unethical opt-out ruse, or using far inferior
DVD drives... A bit like Clorox bleach costs much more
than the generic brands even though their chemical
compositions are identical.

hhp

dezcom's picture

Branding is not only about a manufacturer of a product or service. It can also be about branding the piece of communication and just for that instance. Branding alludes to the speaker's tone of voice, not just the words he says.

aluminum's picture

You may not have noticed, but I was trying to steer the conversation away silly Apple arguments back towards font sales. Hint, hint, wink, wink.

hrant's picture

There's nothing silly about corporations getting
rich from otherwise intelligent people behaving like
livestock. It might even be the conundrum of our age,
quite unlike what font to choose, I'm sad to admit.

hhp

dezcom's picture

James, I have no problem with the so called "odd glyphs". I have a problem with the rest of the glyphs saying nothing. It is like a singer who may have a few very expressive high notes but the rest of his range is dead and dull. Yes, his high notes are what gets your attention but the phrase never gets built, only interrupted.

aluminum's picture

"There's nothing silly about"

Every topic on here can't end up being a screed against Apple. Create a separate topic for it, but derailing other topics with it seems silly (if not obnoxious).

hrant's picture

You see what I mean about brand loyalty?
To me, that's what friends and family are for.

hhp

aluminum's picture

What are you even talking about? Why are you trolling for a debate about Apple's DVD players when the conversation was about selling fonts and choice being a potential variable?

I really hate the crappy menu on Comcast's DVR myself, but I don't know what I'd accomplish bringing it up in a thread about type sales.

hrant's picture

I'm not trying to digress, I really believe
that everything is related, and figuring
out how [much] is helpful.

hhp

aluminum's picture

OK. Well, it probably doesn't matter anyways now that the thread is officially "now irrelevant" based on the title. ;)

I do think the choice topic is an interesting one, though.

.00's picture

Attaboy Hrant keep it up.

You're at 186. When you hit 200 posts in 10 days Typophile will be forced to change its name to Hrantophile.

Can't wait!

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