Mainstream Media Campaign for a font?

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Has anyone ever seen a marketing campaign for a font that was not only targeted at the niche markets of designers and printers, but toward the population as a whole? With national TV ads and the like?

Chris Dean's picture

Interesting question. I’ve never in my life seen a commercial for a font. Does the Helvetica film count? I’m going to spend some quality time with YouTube and see what I come up with.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Is that a joke, hrant? Nobody's going to discuss this question on that thread. C'mon, man..

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

I've never seen a commercial for a font either, and can't seem to find anything like that online. I wonder how successful a campaign like that could be? Good commercials convince people to buy things they don't need and had no previous interest in all the time.

hrant's picture

Not a joke.
Context, my friend.

hhp

Chris Dean's picture

Getting closer.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Is that from a video?

Chris Dean's picture

I think its a catalogue cover. Just a random image come-across. It does remind me of the DVNO video however.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

I could see Letraset having more aggressive marketing towards the general public, as most printers wanted little to do with them. Makes sense.

Chris Dean's picture

I couldn’t find a single magazine ad for Letraset. I have a 1984 Adobe magazine in storage. I’ll look there soon.

http://www.adobe.com/products/adobemag/pastissues.html

cerulean's picture

An ad for Eurostile ("the shape of the future") filmed in 1962. No info on what audiences saw it.

Mark Simonson's picture

I had that Letraset catalog. I don't remember printers having anything against Letraset. It was very popular with designers who didn't have a big enough budget to work with a type house (that was me almost always before desktop publishing came along). The quality was very good, and with a little skill you could do better setting than a commercial type house. That said, Letraset was not considered cheap. A sheet of Letraset in 1979 cost about $9, almost $30 in 2012 dollars. And unlike a modern digital font, you ran out of letters pretty quickly and only got one point size per sheet.

Letraset advertised in graphic design magazines, as did most typesetting houses and manufacturers. I don't believe type advertising has ever been directed at the general public. Seems like it would be total a waste of time and money, even nowadays, when anyone with a computer is technically a type user.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Wow, great find, cerulean.

Typogruffer's picture

color ads existed in 1962, wow! It will be really great if anyone can say how popular this font was back then

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Well its hard to tell if this on tv or not. It might have only been available in on film.

Karl Stange's picture

Your post from earlier in the year, Berthold Promotional Video from the 80's.

hrant's picture

Nice one.

hhp

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Your post from earlier in the year, Berthold Promotional Video from the 80's.

Ha! Wow, completely forgot about that. Not really a commercial though.

etahchen's picture

Interesting thread. But, why would there be a mainstream media campaign for a font? The mainstream demographic aren't interested in fonts.

Ryan Maelhorn's picture

Well partly I'm just wondering if it had ever happened, and partly I think good commercials convince people they need to buy things they don't need and didn't even know existed every day. I mean, Pet Rocks? Chia Pets? Who knows how succesful the campaign could be.

JamesM's picture

Nice, Nick. I'm old enough to remember using the Selectric, it was a great typewriter and the interchangeable fonts was nice.

> The mainstream demographic aren't interested in fonts

Well I think many folks are interested to some degree, but since a selection of basic fonts comes preinstalled on their computer and tons of novelty fonts are available for free downloads, they probably just don't see the need to actually buy one.

Even if a particular commercial font became a hot item with the general public, similar-looking knockoffs would be available for free download within a few days.

quadibloc's picture

@cerulean:
Your link led me to this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5ol02WPaYM

and also, through a route I could not retrace, to this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ep-K_Xvq2zY

and the other ones by the same YouTube member.

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