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These fonts as True-Type?

Discussion in 'Fonts and Typography' started by Colin, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    Does anyone know if the fonts "Laser" and "Spring" can be had as True Type fonts? (ttf)
     
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  2. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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  3. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    True Type

    Thanks Fred, although I guess I wasn't clear on my question. I suppose I meant one of the bazillions of true type fonts that are downloadable for free. I don't understand how a guy can buy a cd of 1000 or 2000 ttf fonts for $20.00 and yet someone else wants $30.00 for one font. I'll bet that I'm unaware of a heap of politics involved but it doesn't seem to make sense. All of those thousands of free true type fonts available on the 'net (or inexpensively on cd) were at some point designed by someone too, yet they don't have a huge price tag attached.

    I know that a lot of the tt fonts available for free on the 'net are downright terrible, and don't compare in value to some of the beautifully created ones by sign experts, but many of the fonts demanding big bucks are nothing special.

    At the risk of opening up a can of worms, feel free to shed some light on the subject.

    Cheers!
     
  4. Fred Weiss

    Fred Weiss Merchant Member

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    Sure. And please don't take my response here as anything personal. It is not intended to offend anyone .... only to inform.

    First of all, beyond any quality or design considerations, you should understand that many fonts from established type foundries have become what is termed industry standard fonts. Their names and the design behind them become a specification one can refer to to obtain a known quantity. No different than if I specify Pantone for a color etc. That feature has a distinct value.

    So whether or not you like a particular design, if I tell you I want a sign produced in Frutiger 55, you will not be meeting my specification if instead you decide that Arial is close enough.

    But all the problems started with the 1988 U.S. Patent and Tradement Court's ruling which said in essence that you cannot make an intellectual property claim on the alphabet (and by inference, the design behind it). The court ruled that the only claim that could be made with regard to a font is to claim a right to the name you give it.

    You can read about this at my other website:

    http://www.allcompu.com/ps/fontname.htm

    This opened the floodgates for publishers to raid the old established font libraries, open each font in Fontographer, change the name and delete the copyright information. By 1993, a product named Typecase which contained 120 fonts clearly lifted from Bitstream, sold 7 million copies at $59.95 and was named PC Magazine Product of the Year.

    The result of this was old established companies like Bitstream, URW, Monotype and Berthold all entered into bankruptcy. Linotype laid off 800 people in their type division and there was a general hurt put on a once viable industry. Others like Letraset, Agfa etc. simply stopped developing any new designs.

    As a side note, the estimated average cost to design a font, produce it and bring it to market is about $100,000. The time it takes to open a font, rename it, change the copyright information and regenerate it is about 5 minutes.

    Many of these renamed fonts have ended up on the internet and for all intents and purposes have now passed into the public domain.

    Adobe finally got some justice and some protections reinstated in 1998 by the courts. Article is also at my website.
    http://www.allcompu.com/typejudg/judge.htm

    While one may not choose to see it as supporting software piracy and theft of intellectual property, buying these cloned fonts on CD's or downloading free fonts is really that exactly. It isn't illegal but it is entirely unsupportive of intellectual property rights .... which is something we signmakers have a vested interest in protecting.

    It also perpetuates the confusion over correctly meeting type specification which was once and still remains a huge benefit in the production of many jobs.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2004
  5. Colin

    Colin Major Contributor

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    Wow, talk about an eye opener! Thanks Fred.
     
  6. idsign

    idsign Member

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    Fred,

    That is the best post I have ever read on any graphic arts message board or site. It is no surprise that you posted it.

    A sad and sorry court ruling. I refer to certain fonts created as a result of this ruling as BASTARDIZED.

    Arial - case in point. Microsoft 'Helvetica' or 'Universe' or whatever - Fred would know best.

    Back in the day when type was set with a Compugraphic or Lino or other brand that used a negative aperture of a character on spinning disks, movable plates and focused them on photographic emulsion papers using lenses to adjust for character height...well those were top shelf fonts from THE type houses.

    The PC has cheapened the graphics industry in many ways. Fonts being one.
    But, there are fantastic graphic artists (like Rick) who use the PC to create fine graphic arts in a wide variety of medias. And Rick knows his typography.
    But type quality in design on the whole, will never be the same because of the courts.

    We'll never find any font to compare with any Fredric Goudy typeface at acidfonts.com, me thinks. This site is worth a visit - celebrate Goudy and all masters of typography that lent their craft to our industry.

    http://www.rit.edu/~goudyctr/

    Barry
     
  7. Dave Drane

    Dave Drane Very Active Member

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    You are not wrong there Barry. Some of us older guys learnt letter construction in the second year of our apprenticeships and the modern "signwriter" just presses keys and does not get close enough to appreciate the beauty of Roman antique alphabets especially when it comes to sitting down and hand painting them.
     
  8. Ian Stewart-Koster

    Ian Stewart-Koster Active Member

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    Great responses & thanks for the 'history' lesson from the not-so-long-ago past.
     
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