Font Resale Contracts

David Jones's picture

What terms are usually found in a resale contract? What percentage of the sale price does the vendor usually retain? I'm interested in knowing both what is typical and what the type community feels is reasonable.

hrant's picture

It depends on a few things, not least how much the
font house spends on marketing, and how much
they help you finish the font files (e.g. hinting).

I've seen it from a high of 90% (Emigre) to a low of 20%
(MyFonts up to 2003). I'd say the average might be around
75%. What's fair? That's a great, super-complex question.


Corey Holms's picture

When considering the distributers marketing fee as part of the take, you must remember that the more fonts the distributor is marketing, the shorter the amount of time you get for the marketing of yours. Basically, if they get a large percentage of your royalty in perpetuity and market your font for one month, is that really worth it?

David Jones's picture

Thanks for your comments so far. Does anyone happen to have a model contract that you could upload?

Stephen Coles's picture

It is a super-complex question (as Hrant says) and it's wise to consider more than just percentages, or even that there are only two options. I wrote this guide 3 years ago and not much has changed except the landscape of major distributors (MyFonts is now owned by Monotype and Veer's dedication to fonts seems to be sinking) but the positives and negatives to the three routes are essentially the same.

Alex Kaczun's picture

>Taking Your Fonts to Market: Foundry, Reseller, or Go Solo?

That was a very good article on all the pros and cons. Thanks.

Aside from what has already been mentioned, I would simply like to say that, if you just want to design type, and do not have enough time in the day to market your own stuff, just go with 3-4 of the big distributors. Done.

A fair percentage would be 40%-50% split.

Myfonts has the most traffic, and in my opinion will get you the most bang for your buck.

That's the reason 'Monotype' bought Bitstream's font business recently. Smart move on their part.

And if you are lucky, and in the first month your font(s) rise to the top of their popularity list, you could make some good money.

Create a few promotional banners to further help promote your stuff. Couldn't hurt. The more exposure the better.

And besides, if you get the time, down-the-road, nothing stopping you from creating your own web site and selling your fonts directly.

Just do not sign any 'exclusivity' contract. Sell to anyone and everyone. You'll soon discovery what works for you and which distribution channels work best.

Good luck!

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