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Font question - buying

Discussion in 'Fonts and Typography' started by gdl357, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. gdl357

    gdl357 Owner

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    I would like to know what the difference is between this CD I just got of 20,000 fonts for $25.00 compared to the ones found on font sites selling for 3 for $50+?

    I tried 6 fonts on my cd and they all cut and weed well. I only cut vinyl. Is it because the other fonts like signfonts.com are made for printing in color?

    Thx
     
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  2. Rick

    Rick Certified Enneadecagon Designer

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    Most decent fonts sets are around 150-250 bucks a set.

    It's not that the expensive ones are better for vinyl for printing but they are different.

    If I was going to sell a typeface would I want to stick it in a 20,000 typeface collection and make 1/2 a cent for all that hard work? Or 200 bucks...they would have to sell 40,000 discs to make the same on one sale of the font....even a 50 dollar font would have to sell 10,000 copies on that cheap disc.

    Out of that disc, very few typefaces are actually usable for sign design. When buying from a foundry you are selecting typefaces that will have some use and pay for themselves and you are able to make unique layouts and designs that your competition can't.

    Besides Letterhead Fonts, Sign Fonts and Sign DNA, Investigate the following foundries.....

    House Industries
    T-26
    Font Shop
    Emigre
    Font Bureau
    Font Diner
    & Veer
     
  3. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    There's no real functional difference. There is, however, a rather large philosophical difference. Offhand I couldn't think of anything more useless, actually counter-productive, than 20,000 fonts.

    Most all computer font file type faces are inappropriate for sign work. If the truth be known, most all of them are useless for anything else as well. A journeyman sign writer as but a handful of alphabets and number sets. A couple of scripts, a couple of casuals, a sans or two, a roman or so. He uses these few hands with infinite variation and embellishment on those basic few.

    Typography is a skilled specialty and the typical computer weenie amateur sign being usually doesn't get it. There are very few faces really suitable for sign work. Most of the ones that aren't hideous, damn few, might be pressed into service in a magazine ad. a business card, or a high school newsletter but those aren't signs. They are a different typographical niche.

    For example, in my shop there's handful faces that make up the bulk of damn near everything along with a small collection of specimen faces used for headers and accents. I've evolved to this particular selection because it best suits my style and mimics reasonably well my hand from way back when my eyes and spine permitted me to do hand lettering.
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    What you have described is a collection of fonts in which no one associated with the collection had any hand in bearing the expense of creating them. They also will have non-industry standard names which is how they are able to sell them without a lot of concern about being arrested.

    Many are the same fonts you might pay much more for through legal licensed channels where the original designer is receiving a portion as his or her compensation for creating the font. Many are simply amateurish attempts at font creation by untrained wannabees.

    I won't belabor the ethics of using fonts such as these. Frankly most will do a faithful job of cutting vinyl. But here's something to consider:

    There are basically two ways one uses a font. The first is to create a new design where no pre-existing specifications have been set forth. Basically you can select any font you want to use and everybody's happy. The second way one uses a font, however, is to duplicate an existing design or design anew but carrying forth with work that matches up to previous work by someone else.

    For example, I walk into your shop and hand you my business card and ask for a quote to letter my new van. I like what the printer has done and want to have the same look carried out on all my advertising and corporate identity needs. I can even tell you that the fonts used are Palatino Black, Gill Sans Bold, and Gill Sans Italic.

    You look through your list of 20,000 fonts scratching your head in wonder that none of those names are there. The fonts are there but the names are so different that you don't find them. You show me some fonts you think are close, I get kind of quiet as I begin to realize I'm probably in the wrong place, and the sales interview ends as I take my work to your nearest competitor.

    I hope that answers your question.
     
  5. gdl357

    gdl357 Owner

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    I have to agree. I looked at the CD and it has already wasted 1 hour of my time just going through the "A to C" section. You can say its a mistake on my part. I will never use these now that I know the difference.

    BTW out od the 20,000 fonts, Palatino Black and gil aren't even there! Ha

    Like Fred said, they are probably not even named correctly.


    Two questions.

    What package would you recommend I purchase that will give me a base to start on and will ahve a chance to be used more often? The best I've seen for the money is signfonts.com, I think.


    When is mega3 being released. lol

    Thx all for the great replies and making me see the reason behind my question.
     
  6. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sign Fonts, Signs DNA and Letterhead Fonts are all great for original design. For a core collection I recommend the approx. 1000 fonts included with CorelDRAW. They're good quality and they are legally licensed. Getting CorelDRAW with the fonts is just a side benefit.

    Vector Art Mega 3 should be available for shipping around the middle of next month. We will be running an advanced sale promotion here but I am holding off until I see the images. I have been promised, because in addition to selling the CD version, we are licensed to sell them individually at ExpressClipart.com, a copy of the files before release along with the catalog document in InDesign .IDD format. We hope to receive that shortly.

    Mega 3 is about the same size as Mega 1 (around 6,500 images) and is described by the publisher as artwork that is equal to or better than Mega 1. Needless to say we're looking forward to seeing it.
     
  7. Arlo Kalon 2.0

    Arlo Kalon 2.0 Very Active Member

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    WOW!!! For once I disagree with Freddo (albeit, only a tad).

    If I were the original questioner here, I'd totally take to heart everything "bob" said about a handful of fonts in the hands of a skilled practitioner who varies and embellishes said fonts to suit his purposes. In three decades I've never had a use for more than a dozen or so fonts myself. For a few years now, SteveC's collection has totally replaced my Gerber fonts and 2,000 others very distinctively.

    I would agree that the only use for more than Signfonts collection, et al, would be the need to occasionally match something brought to me. However, I've functioned very well simply requiring that fonts be brought to me with outside designs.

    Like MOST of what we can do with technology, and endless fonts in particular, IMnotsoHO,just because we CAN do it doesn't mean it's a good idea.
     
  8. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

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    The three font set I think you are talking about is a group of highly specialized
    type faces intended to produce special effects and to offer the designer
    more options when creating layouts. This is the Edoras Package, New from
    Signfonts. It actually contains 11 font files.
    I also have other packages such as the Art&Sign Package or the Script
    Package, 15 and 14 fonts for $70 to $100. When purchasing one of these
    smaller packages you always have the option to trade up for the 33 font
    package.

    I also recommend Letterhead Fonts and Sign DNA. They have lots of great
    fonts as well as the venders that Rick listed.

    BTW we are running a special this week. Check the Merchant Member
    forum for more details.

    Thanks,
    Steve C.
     
  9. bob

    bob Major Contributor

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    And I'd probably tell you that those might look stunning to you there in 8 and 12 point but blow them up to significant sign size and what appears on your business card as harmonious may become somewhat discordant on a sign. Moreover your sign might look more like something that indicates a freeway off-ramp.

    One factor in this transformation is that area varies on the square of size. Double the size of a letter and you've increased it's density by a factor of 4. Another is that white space is used a bit differently on a sign as opposed to printed matter. Probably due to that same linear/square phenomenon.

    The art of doing signs in these circumstances is in capturing the flavor of someone's business card, print ad, whatever, not actually reproducing it. Done properly you'll never hear words to the effect "Are you sure that's what my business card looks like?"
     
  10. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    I don't disagree with your viewpoint Bob as it applies to a percentage of client needs. But it does not, IMHO, cover the majority of work sought out by customers ranging from those only seeking the legible delivery of some words to those who have specific specifications they want met.

    The use of digital type and the differences between layout and usage for print versus signs is both subjective and subject to the skill, taste and preferences of the designer. As you may, by now, be aware, I am something of a type aficionado. I use my library of fonts not only to meet specifications but also to evoke a look, create a favorable reaction, convey a subliminal message, and, in general, to break the boredom of being in a rut.

    There is room on the planet for both our viewpoints.
     
  11. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

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    Total agreement with bob and Arlo on this one. ‘In the Day’ when we all hand-painted, that’s how the different shops were identified many times. In fact, that’s how individual painters within the same shop were often gauged or classified. Your ability and style were your signatures. As bob already said, you only needed a few styles and then you were set.

    Also, we found over the years, that lots of times when you buy all those fonts on a CD and the deal is great, usually the quality of each character isn’t. Also, the kerning and strokes even vary sometimes. To save a few hundred dollars up front, you’ll more than spend many many hours in the future kerning these fonts time and time again.

    Again, you get what you buy. Years ago, the hack that wasn’t good at lettering generally didn’t charge as much. He/she either didn’t have the talent or didn’t care. Today, the computer designer either doesn’t know any better or doesn’t consider it worth their time to fine tune it. Therein the difference between a craftsman and someone just filling space. It happened years ago… and it still is happening today.
     
  12. gdl357

    gdl357 Owner

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    Steve, after speaking with you today, I realized how friendly you are taking the time to answer my questions and therefore have placed an online order and paid for the complete 33 font package and the extras you offer in you special ending this week

    My email is gdl357@videotron.ca

    It will be my birthday present to me for tomorrow.

    Thank You
     
  13. Steve C.

    Steve C. Very Active Member

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    Your fonts have been sent. Be sure to see the tutorial for Bevel
    and Chisel fonts at Signfonts.com. Pay attention also to the
    ArtType Extra link on swash endings for script fonts.

    Happy Birthday.......enjoy!
    :thankyou:
     
  14. gdl357

    gdl357 Owner

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    May 22, 2006
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    Received :Canada 2:

    Just a note. At about $5.00 per font, you have to be out of your mind not to take advantage of this week's deal. I will be purchasing every other font you release.

    I am so lucky I made it in time. Got 3 fonts for free!



    Thx Steve! :U Rock:
     
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