Is $40 a reasonable price for this?

Eimantas Paškonis's picture


http://typophile.com/node/85030?page=1

Can't decided between that and $30. Because I'm in favor of underpricing. Family would sell for x+x/2.
Spacing isn't the greatest.

George Thomas's picture

Go with the $30 price. I say that because IMHO the font has limited commercial appeal.

hrant's picture

I actually think this can become quite popular - don't undersell it! Although a two-tier pricing structure (even giving away the basic style for free) might be just the ticket.

hhp

Karl Stange's picture

Great font, definitely worth the $40 with all the additional features. Will you be including the Cyrillic?

oldnick's picture

Helpful Hint: don’t give anything away for free. Inveterate cheapskates rarely turn into actual buyers; and, to make matters worse, the cheapskates expect free technical support, as well.

Nick Shinn's picture

I wouldn't "underprice" individual fonts, but offer the family package at a large discount.

hrant's picture

But it seems to have worked very well for Jos Buivenga. Museo even ended up as Dell's official font. I haven't tried it myself, but I believe it exposes lesser-known design[er]s and creates a dependency that can turn some casual users into buyers. And this design seems particularly well-suited to a two-tier approach because the bonus features are significant.

hhp

oldnick's picture

Hrant,

The exception doesn't disprove the rule. Jos Buivenga designed an attractive workhorse of a family, and the Dell seal of approval provided enormous cachet. However, the typeface under consideration doesn’t have the same kind of universal applicability: it is exquisitely suited for special occasions, and will therefore have a limited appeal, so the same dynamics that made the Museo family a success will not be in play.

Giving stuff away may help get your name around, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. I decided to discontinue giving fonts away on my website after the practice ended up costing me over $800 one year. AT the time, I was paying for metered bandwidth, which would have covered the traffic on my site, but a lot of external sites were hot-linking back to my site, and I paid for them to do so…which proves that no good deed goes unpunished…

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

I thought Museo's deal, besides being a beautiful thing, was that it was one of the first fonts available from Google. Same thing with Lobster, I think.

riccard0's picture

Ryan, just to set the record straight (sorry Elmantas for hijacking the thread. By the way, I agree with Hrant: you could offer a very basic version for a low price and offer the advanced features at a “premium” price), Museo was released back in 2008 (http://exljbris.wordpress.com/2008/03/11/museo-is-out/) and was an instant success.
Google Fonts launched in 2010 (http://googlecode.blogspot.it/2010/05/introducing-google-font-api-google...), and Museo was never among their offering.

hrant's picture

Something else I believe in is putting up nominal barriers. So what about charging $1?

hhp

.00's picture

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Nick Shinn's picture

Quite apart from comparing apples with oranges (trade photo-typesetting service with mass market digital product), you’re picking and choosing. Today, with a multi-user licence (or multi-view), especially an enterprise licence for a corporation, a single font can command considerably more than $40 per sale, and a family sale can be in six figures.

.00's picture

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tmac's picture

"I remember doing work for U&lc, converting their workflow from traditional photo-type to desktop composition. Their per issue typography budget for photo-type was $35,000."

Wow. That amazes me. We are all pikers these days.

I really like discounted families -- but for me this is most valuable for "workhorse" rather than display families. Granted, something like Bodoni Egyptian can also make a great display typeface.

My opinion:
There's not much difference between $30 and $40. To me it fits in the same range of "a little more than cheap."

You may find this tacky, but I think your real choice is between $29 and $39.

And I think you should go with $39 and spend the expected extra revenues on excellent marketing materials that show situations in which this typeface really sings. And also shows how it does paired up with other fonts. For example Idlewild from H&FJ: without their support materials that illustrate the different character the type can achieve, one might have a very one dimensional view of that design.

These are just my opinions of course, but I do buy fonts across a range of prices from $1 to $1,000.

PS: I love how Typophile thinks Bodoni is spelled wrong.

daverowland's picture

The more you charge, the more people will think it is worth. But don't knowingly release it with poor spacing (looks ok to me though from the sample).
There's a quite cynical (IMO) marketing ploy being used a fair amount now. Start off with a big discount off a fairly high price. Then when the discount ends, immediately drop the 'actual' price. What customers thought was a massive discount and therefore unmissable turns out to be not that special. Like I said, cynical, but it seems to work. I might give it a go one day ;)

hrant's picture

You know, I had the idea of offering a permanent 90% discount on a greatly over-priced item when I was like 9. But my dad said it would never work.

hhp

JamesM's picture

I believe it's illegal in the U.S. to advertise an item as on sale (such as "was $100, now $25") if it's not a reduction from the actual price that it was sold to the public for a reasonable period of time.

When I worked in retail I was told that we had to use certain specific phrases like "a $100 value" if the item didn't meet the qualifications to be legally considered a sale item.

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

Oh crap, when I made the thread it gave me an error so I left and forgot about it. Here's the features: http://f.cl.ly/items/2o0h172l2o471E2S3U1L/HazelnutPro%20Features.pdf

It's "pro" (@hrant) because I needed second word to show off small caps and to differentiate it from possible featureless version. Cyrillic is included in the both.

So it seems the biggest question now is the featureless version and not the $10 range.

It's not worth charging $1, because download difference between that and $0 is drastic. Revenue - not so much. One thing's for sure – Cyrillic speakers would take the free version. Because for them there's less gain from paying. Redundant small caps and less ligatures/alternates. Also $40 is much more for them than Americans.

Uppercase and lowercase amounts to about 1/3 of full version. But it's not worth to charge ~$10, is it?

hrant's picture

The $1 would be intended as a barrier against parasites.

Related: http://typophile.com/node/10206

hhp

5star's picture

Party like it's $19.99

n.

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

With this thread I want to avoid "No way, man." prices. Something like this: http://www.myfonts.com/person/Manuel_Ramos/
So:
$40 for Pro, $60 for a family.
$15 for Std., $25 for a family.
Looking good?

daverowland's picture

Only one way to find out ;)
Get it released and find out what happens. Prices can always be adjusted later on if sales are slow, but it would be harder to raise prices if sales are fast - that kind of thing leaves a bad taste in people's mouths.
I think you're fine with those prices though. As long as nothing is offered for free. I fully believe that Museo is a success in spite of, not because of, its free weights.

Nick Shinn's picture

Pricing is also affected by which distributor.
The price may be consistent across the board, but different products perform differently, for many reasons, one of which is no doubt price.
It’s complex. As Dave says, try it and see.
I certainly can’t figure it out logically, just hope that I’ve developed a feel for it after a while.

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

So it seems both that and -25% were too high - no one bough it. Or simply no one liked the font itself. Well, there goes 9 months of my life...

daverowland's picture

Don't throw in the towel yet! It's only been out 11 days.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

I can imagine no better way to tell my previous customers to go F themselves then to use the 'price it high with a big discount at first and then drop the actual price later' tactic. I'm almost positive this will reduce your repeat customers by huge amount.

hrant's picture

Simply adding a font to MyFonts is like doing nothing at all. Without promotion even the best ideas are blowing in the wind.

hhp

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

@Ryan - Whom are you replying to?
@hrant - Not much I can do about it.

all about seb's picture

Could you include a link to the font on MyFonts here, please?

Plus, how do YOU find out about new/interesting fonts? Make sure that your font is seen in the same channels. In my opinion, pricing is hardly ever a motivator to purchase...

Good luck!

Nick Shinn's picture

On the upside, it is an actual type design, rather than revival or metoo-ism, so you can expect the long tail to work in your favor. What are your keywords?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

People don't respect free things. They hear the word free and in their minds that means its not worth anything. They might grab a copy, sure, but they won't respect it. They're not gonna run and tell all their friends about the free things they got, they're going to brag about the thing they had to save up for months to afford. In order to create value in a customers mind you have to charge them something.

Currently I'm trying to figure out where the line is drawn between undervalued and overvalued. My guess is somewhere in the $9.99 to $19.99 range.

Also, believe it or not, the lower you price your goods, the more problems you'll have with your customers. On the face of it it seems ridiculous, what right does someone have to complain about something they bought for a dollar? Now the guy who bought something for a thousand dollars, he has the right to complain and ask for favors a bit, right? But that's just not the way it works. The cheap customers will bleed you dry, while the big spenders will hardly ask for anything.

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/eimapas/hazelnut-pro/

@seb MF's Hot New Fonts, Behance (I have portfolio there), Dribble, blogs, Twitter, some more. What most have in common is featuring, which I can't control. My previous font had exposure due to stupidly low price. With this one it feels like throwing good stone in the lake and not a single ripple came. Even "likes" on Behance hard stopped at 14 after the first day...

@Nick - tags? They're in the link.

vernon adams's picture

Eimantas,

The 3 keys are 'availability', 'use-ability', and 'cost' (and these are all pegged to 'aesthetics').
'Cost' - best to just stick with 'get as much $'s as possible'. To do that though you need to get 'availability' and 'use-ability' working for you first. And you will only find out if a font is considered 'useable' if you make it 'available'. It's very much a cat-chasing-it's-tail scenario. I can make 2 valuable (i think) observations about the font you are trying to sell; (1) It's not a design that will start to earn it's living in the highest ranks of type design. (2) If the font was as 'freely available as possible' you would find out how 'useable' it is, aka, is it a font that enough designers want to use? At the moment the best route to guage a font's 'use-ability' is to get it hosted on something like the Google Webfonts server - and get it in front of millions of potential users, who can simply decide to use it, or not. You can (hopefully) create a large user base. Once you have a user base established, you can then more realistically answer the question 'is $40 a reasonable price?' .

daverowland's picture

So to see if it's worth $40, you give it away for nothing, then if people find a use for it, what then? You ask them for the $40 to keep the font, and they say "Oh, ok, sure. Here you go."

vernon adams's picture

So to see if it's worth $40, you give it away for nothing, then if people find a use for it, what then? You ask them for the $40 to keep the font, and they say "Oh, ok, sure. Here you go."

duhhh! :)

My point is this - developing a fully fledged typeface family takes a major investment of workload (time & skills, and both have a monetary value). It's often said that developing a face can take, on average, 2 years. I think Gerrard Unger allways uses that average. It's a good one. So that means a number of things, such as, 1) you should get paid properly for your labour, 2) You don't want to work on a face for months/years only to find that not enough real users have a use for it, 3) If you are serious about investing so much time in the design of a face, then also invest some time in unglamorous stuff like 'real world' user testing. Much better than investing all your skill & resources into a finished product only to discover it's a dodo.
Now... free software can be a tool par excellance for testing and innovating, as you develop a product, and before you launch a commercial version into a competitive market. Large foundries do not need to think like this because the volume of fonts they put to market means they only need a moderate % of stock to succeed, in order to profit *and* subsidise the % that is not profitable alone. Small foundries or independent designers cannot allways afford to go that route; they have tiny subsidies to play with, if the small guys spend too much time developing too many duds they soon go hungry.

paragraph's picture

duhhh! :)

With the widespread use of type design tools and frequency of releases of typefaces these days, the last thing I would want is to give a broad based advance warning of my concept to every competitor. Much better to release it finished yourself, that way you get some reward for it.

vernon adams's picture

With the widespread use of type design tools and frequency of releases of typefaces these days, the last thing I would want is to give a broad based advance warning of my concept to every competitor. Much better to release it finished yourself, that way you get some reward for it.

Well if that was the way the world turned we would still be waiting for the finished release of 'The Internet' before we could all go online :) e.g. Apache, WordPress, Android, Facebook, Sendmail, php, html, css, oh it's a really long list... basically any part of the net that is free-to-use and/or is free-to-hack, is allways under development (i.e. it's never finished) and people make money from it. Why would digital fonts not be part of that digital ecosystem?

Eimantas Paškonis's picture

Because they don't have advertisements in them.

vernon adams's picture

Because they don't have advertisements in them.

:) only some of the internet that makes money is co-dependent with advertising other peoples stuff, it's no different from traditional non-online markets.
Ironically, 'advertising' is exactly your problem. You have an in progress typeface (it's not finished, even if you think it is - more weights and variants, plus tweaks and fixes, will come), at the moment it's available from myfonts.com, amongst 1000's of others. How many people now of it's existence? let alone know if they have use for it. The big thing you lack, right now, is getting your font in front of a world full of potential users. Forget how good it is, whether typophiles rate it, keywords, blah blah, for now. Right now, the more people who see it, use it and see it in use, the more potential you have to sell it and/or the fonts you have yet to make. Don't release all weights and full language support for free though, if you don't want to, keep those for users who are going to pay you for the $40+ version. Good luck with it too :)

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

It's not that hard to crack the 'hot new new fonts' category on MyFonts. It's just the top 50 most money making fonts at the moment.

I almost made it with the only font I have released so far, Mob, selling 13 licenses at $6.99 each, I believe I got up to 60th place. (Yeah, I'm in type design for the money, lol.)
http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/nonbook/mob-pro/

Actually it looks like you're in 77th place right now.
http://www.myfonts.com/hotnewfonts/?n=1000

hrant's picture

So how did it go from infinity (zero sales) to 77 (linearly estimated at $70 in sales) in three days?

hhp

Frode Bo Helland's picture

Those nine months are not gone, even if Hazelnut doesn't sell well. You know, experience. Look at the first types released by some of the best contemporary type designers: You start out better than many of them. I suspect the similarity (in concept) to such a well known design as Broadway might partially explain the lack of interest.

hrant's picture

Central point about the experience, and the good start.

Broadway: I wasn't seeing any significant similarity, but when I looked up Broadway in MyFonts it was intriguing to find this: http://www.myfonts.com/fonts/fontron/sideron/

hhp

vernon adams's picture

It's not that hard to crack the 'hot new new fonts' category on MyFonts. It's just the top 50 most money making fonts at the moment.

Is that 'top 50' ranked by 'units being shifted' or by '$$'s being raked in' ? or something else?

So @Ryan, you reached 60th place by selling 13 licenses for a total of $90? May i ask how long it took from release to 60th place? I'm guessing the difference between top spot and lower ranking must be pretty steep.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Vernon, it's in total dollars. So selling one license for $200 would put you ahead of someone selling 100 licenses for $1 each.

I released Mob Pro with an immediate 90% discount($69.95 -> $6.99). All sales and discounts last for 4 weeks at MyFonts, foundrys have no choice about this. It was within the first four weeks of the release that I reached 60th place, actually I think I remember now I reached 55th place. It took a parabolic trajectory during the 4 week discount period. I have now idea where I started, but I got up to 55th place sometime, and at the end of the sale I believe I was in 108th place or something like that. As you can tell, I didn't keep exact records of all this, but if I had to guess I would say I reached the top of the parabola (55th place) at about the 3 week mark.

There's no way of knowing how much $$$ you have to move to reach first place unless you have actually done it yourself. I tried prying this info out of the MyFonts reps, multiple times, but they remain tight lipped about it.

BTW, since the sale ended in early June, I haven't sold 1 license of Mob Pro at full price.

hrant's picture

All sales and discounts last for 4 weeks at MyFonts

How often do they let you redo discounts?

There's no way of knowing how much $$$ you have to move to reach first place

Linear estimate (based solely on your numbers): $100/day.

hhp

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

How often do they let you redo discounts?

Not sure. Haven't tried yet. They did say there is a waiting period.

You can get around this by lowering your prices. Haven't tried that either, but it seemed from the email convo I had with one of the reps that I could do this at any time, and that there was no limit to how many times I could do it.

I will say again though that the 'price it high with a huge discount at first and then lower the price as soon as the discount runs out' is a 100% dick move. In my mind this is just a straight up F you to the people who have already paid you. Even if I priced Mob at $20 or something now I would feel this was an a**hole move. Though the first customers only paid $6.95, they thought they were getting a 90% discount on $69.95, repricing lower later means they really didn't. It's just unethical in my opinion.

I'm sure my ethics are costing me however... I'd bet that if I price Mob Pro at $5 tomorrow, it would start selling again. But I'd rather do good by the people who have already paid me their money.

Linear estimate (based solely on your numbers): $100/day.

I'd bet the curve was more logarithmic, if I was forced to make the bet one way or another at gun point anyway.

daverowland's picture

You can set the discount period anywhere between 1 and 45 days. There is a minimum time period between discounts on the same font. I think it's about a month.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Dave, I remember reading you could set it up to 45 days. However I wrote in my submission email (which is a totally archaic way to manage online content these days) that I wanted 45 days for mob and was only given 4 weeks.

It's possible that they could have just not read the submission email properly however.

hrant's picture

So is having a periodic sale 6 weeks out of 10 unethical towards the people who unknowingly get caught in the bad 4 weeks? When I go to a department store (like every time 4 or more planets align) and I'm going to buy something off-sale the clerk will often suggest that I wait for the sale in a couple of days (and you can be sure that's because they've told her to do that). But would doing that be unethical towards MyFonts?

The mind of the consumer is a dark place.

hhp

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