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  • Re: Romanée – New Release?

    Hi all,
    first of all, thanks for so many comments, hints and opinions. We really appreciate your involvement into the whole story. We informed Peter Matthias Noordzij (TEFF) about this thread, hoping that he will post his view of the case here as well.

    One thing about the legal situation: We did ask advice from a lawyer and legally this case seems to be quite clear: TEFF just can’t do anything against a revival as long as someone doesn’t steal the exact outline data. Neither in terms of the type design nor in terms of the name. TEFF registered a »word trademark« in 1992 on the name which expired. Also Monotype’s trademark on »stylized characters« from 1992 ended already. If we would have based the legal situation on a new Romanée release, we’d just done it without discussing this here.

    BUT: That is not what our question is about! We want to avoid any legal fights AND also any personal offences to / from TEFF. Our question is about what @Hrant addressed in his comment:
    – Is there »a moral right to cultural progress«?
    – Is it fair for the originator Jan van Krimpen to withhold his design from the world?
    – Would a revival named »Romanée« honour the originator or rather infringe his successors’ claims?

    Good or bad guys?
    I understand @ybaggar when he sais that this looks like us trying to be the good guys while TEFF prefers not to contribute to this thread. Might be true that this image emerges. Although I can say that this was never our intention. It is also understandable that people who don’t know us presume a commercial background in our post. Yes, we are a business and not a charity society. But everybody who’s into the font retail business knows, that such a project will not fill our cash box. As @Kai wrote: we’d even offer a royalty split.
    All in all this is about making a type design available, which we think deserves it. And we were keen on hearing your views about it. So: We’re happy to discuss more if you like.

    (the other half of Lazydogs...)
  • Re: Romanée – New Release?

    I think when Hrant introduces the term 'cultural progress' into such discussions, he is usually begging the question. Unless one is going to take a kind of act utilitarian, case-by-case basis to considering whether making a particular work available under some particular circumstance constitutes cultural progress, one has to consider broader principles and a longer historical span, because culture is not the business of a moment.

    The first question would be whether the principles of intellectual property law are in general good for cultural progress, and I would argue that they have historically been so, at least in the context of civilisations in which land, material goods, and especially capital are held as private property. Leaving out of such law the things that people actually make would not only be illogical but would unfairly advantage the owners of capital even more than they are already.

    The second question would be whether typical implementations of intellectual property law are good for cultural progress, and I would say on balance that they tend to be, even though they give rise to situations we don't agree with or, even, that seem to be counter to the principles on which those laws were established. Such laws usually seek to balance the benefit to the makers of things with benefits to the community, and that balance isn't difficult to disrupt.


    In considering the case of Romanée and other Dutch type designs in terms of cultural progress, I think that an interesting thing — a culturally interesting thing — happened in The Netherlands in the 1990s. At a time when the rest of the typographic world was rapidly becoming a largely undifferentiated globalised business selling the same things in all markets at generally decreasing prices, some then relatively young Dutch type designers decided to take ownership — both symbolically and practically — of the particular typographic heritage of their particular country, and to establish a local market for high quality and generally more expensive products from that heritage. TEFF was one aspect of this activity; Dutch Type Library was another.

    Have those people done everything right? Probably not, but I still think the approach they adopted is an interesting one, and I would suggest that it might even, in the insistence on the distinctiveness of a particular culture, constitute a kind of progress.
  • Re: Share your pleasure and learning experience at drawing revivals

    André Simard said:
    If somebody has some suggestions to summit to me do not hesitate. 

  • Re: Numeral values of weights

    You will experience problems having multiple weights with the same OS2weight value — e.g., both UltraLight and ExtraLight at 200, and both Light and Book at 300.

    You may also experience problems having both “Book” and “Regular” stylenames in the same family. Some apps have been known to assume that these are synonyms for the same thing. (Maybe that’s only a legacy issue these days.)
  • Re: Share your pleasure and learning experience at drawing revivals

    Here is the Dair link, fixed.
    Your motivation at working on revivals is close to mine.
    I don’t think so. You asked about experience in the design process, which I recounted, not motivation, which I didn’t.

    My motivation for the Modern Suite was primarily to correct a couple of misperceptions prevalent in 2004 (and perhaps still), namely that the didone genre has poor readability, and that the sans serif is a modernist, 20th century invention. Also, I felt that the available Scotch Moderns were too cookie-cutter clinical in their finish, and there should be a more “post-printed” version published—a concept established by ITC Bodoni.

    My motivation for Goodchild was again contrarian, namely to produce an old style newspaper text face. I figured why not base it on the source, Jenson.

  • Re: Share your pleasure and learning experience at drawing revivals

    The most fun I've had making a revival was Minicomputer. I tracked the development of magnetic typefaces Westminster in 1965 to the end of the MICR craze—which only seemed to last about 5 years. Apart from the initial MICR E13B numerals designed in the 1950s, everyone did their own interpretation of what the alphabet would look like with a certain amount of borrowing from one another. Everyone had their own plausibility level. Squared off designs like Yavroyan Egra. A mix of circuit board traces and LSD as in Hinge Computer. Data '70 and Computer were more austere and ended up becoming the standard. The style branched off into similar styles like Amelia, Williamson Program, Cucumber. I spent way too much time researching, not enough time working on my font. It's not based on any particular magnetic typeface. It's more of a what-if scenario. What if someone in the 1960s had been asked to make a magnetic typeface in multiple weights, covering Greek, Cyrillic and more symbols and punctuation that you'd typically find in a display font in those times.
  • Re: Font or Font Software

    Forgive me if I misunderstood the flow of the conversation.  I think there's a suggestion on the floor that all  EULA should discuss the typeface as a design product the way it is treated in Europe.  

    I just checked our EULA and we are among the foundries @Katy Mawhood is talking about that don't use the work "typeface".  We just talk about font software.  We're aware that Europe treats the design differently than in the US but our general rule with the license is to treat everyone by the standard of the most permissive law.  For instance, we permit all licensees to open the software to look at it because some places would override us if we didn't (we didn't used to for the sake of clarity since you can't modify the software).  It's just easier for us if everyone is treated the same.  But also the governing law for our EULA is NYC.  I think it might be the same for some of the foundries discussed.

    As far as updates go, @Dave Crossland's venture makes things sound so much more linear than my reality.   We update our EULA as needed and same with the fonts.  Certainly more frequently than every five years in both cases. If a licensee gets a new download of the fonts (either because of an update or because they need to reinstall) or renews a timed addendum they agree to the current EULA in order to complete the action.  In some cases it's the same EULA they already agreed to but that's too difficult for us to track so we just make them agree and send a new EULA.  
  • Re: Licensing that allows a small company to send the fonts to their service providers.

    If i ask a furniture make to make a table for me, i don't go and buy the wood for them.

    The problem is the resistance to paying for fonts when design agencies (suppliers) find it so easy to pirate. I don't see any other issue.

    Brand books should include the details of the fonts used and from whom they can be licensed. The supplier then buys a license for the fonts, and passes the cost back to the client when they invoice for the work. If the client is a large organisation, they'll use larger suppliers who should be buying the appropriate larger license.

    Distribution licences are a one-size-fits-all solution and that allow the client to distribute type in an unlimited way - this is bad business. The DardenStudio distribution addendum, and others like define the limits this but i doubt any licenses really log and adhere to the defined quota of distribution.

    Distribution licenses don't represent the value of usage, they only make the value of type harder to perceive, and suppliers more resistant to licensing.
  • Re: Share your pleasure and learning experience at drawing revivals

    I prefer to do original work, but I have drawn a few revivals and restorations, in which I aim for either facsimile-level authenticity or major reinterpretation, I’m not a big fan of tinkering. I work from printed samples, but not foundry specimens. Some PDFs:

    Dair (Cartier, 1967)
    Drawn over scans (no autotrace)

    Modern Suite (Scotch Modern, Figgins Sans, mid 19th century)
    Drawn by eye (no scans)

    Goodchild (Jenson, mid 15th century)
    Drawn by eye (no scans)

    I’ve certainly found satisfaction in being able to use my fonts to create facsimiles of ancient documents—in fact, achieving that goal was a large part of the production process, which I hesitate to call design. There is design, though, in expanding the character set and features, but it’s still not in the same league as creating new, original typefaces.

    A big motivation, and reward, in doing these revivals was investigating and gaining an understanding of another time, another place, another technology, through the process of design, as an adjunct to academic, literary-intellectual wisdom. Trying to get the letters to combine nicely in the same manner as the original, one goes through the same trials and tribulations, no doubt, as the original designer, and it’s a weird kind of out-of-body feeling, like being in their skin, or having them look over your shoulder as you’re slaving away.

  • Re: Romanée – New Release?

     I think one of the people who did a Like on your post would be delighted to see Unger sued into oblivion...
    Since that was only the two of us I assume you mean me?

    I see, no reply, only a silly Insightful mark. It's a pity that you feel the need to resort to juvenile behaviour.