MyFonts and families

13

Comments

  • ybaggarybaggar Posts: 55
    edited February 8
    @Botio Nikoltchev
    Was I saying everything is fine when I said that making a living on myfonts looks like a loosing battle?
    Your prices are only falling if you lower them. You are not forced to lower/discount/bundle.

    Who knows if MF's strategy is wrong. I would think they know what they are doing and it makes sense for them, volume wise or as a bigger strategy.
    Confusing what is good for myfonts and what is good for a designer on myfonts is a mistake. If myfonts' strategy is wrong for you, the question is, why are you still there? Or can you still make it work for you somehow? Is the solution to also make heavy discounts and bundles and low prices?

    Lots of questions which I'm happy not having to answer.

    Worth considering: There are independent foundries selling fonts for prices similar to the ones of FF Din successfully. They are keeping 100% of their sales.
    If you double the price from 25 to 50$, and you keep 100% of your sales, instead of 160 sales, you need 40 to get 2000$.
    I'm not saying this is the right strategy. Again, there is no easy way. Setting up an independent foundry is especially not easy.
  • Botio NikoltchevBotio Nikoltchev Posts: 18
    edited February 8
    ybaggar,  the goole trends are quite clear. Maybe it will answer the question if the My Fonts strategies work so well. 
    Who says I lower my prices? I disagree that the small foundries are not forced to lower the prices, when one of the main font distributors like MF are making a heavily discount for more then a year. 

    I am still there because I think MF is in many points the better solution than an independent foundryshop. I don´t have the higher cost for a GbR or GmbH. I do not have to do any customer support wich costs a lot of time (I prefer to invest the time in custom jobs, or new designs). I do not have higher costs for tax consultant because of the shop. So at the end of the day I´m not sure if I´ll really keep the +50% of the sales. But I do consider to make an independent shop in 2017.
    Maybe you can give some advice or info about your experience with your shop.


  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 526
    edited February 8
    Why has MyFonts been dropping on Google Trends since early 2013?
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,401
    Why has MyFonts been dropping on Google Trends since early 2013?
    Interest in Google fonts, Commercial Type, and Creative Market has been rising over the same time period. So my hypothesis is that it’s the result of new competitors and hot new typefaces being announced and/or released in places other than MyFonts.
  • Botio NikoltchevBotio Nikoltchev Posts: 18
    edited February 8
    Maybe also the new distribution models like Typekit and FontStand has influence on that drop.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 526
    edited February 8
    Checking Google Trends...
    Commercial Type is nowhere on the radar; Google Fonts is a contender; and Creative Market seems right on (although it's not only fonts.)
    https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=myfonts,"creative market"
  • This is kind of fun … I have not spent much time with Google Trends before.

    https://www.google.com/trends/explore?date=all&q=myfonts,"creative market",fontstand,typekit
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 198
    edited February 9
    On Behance I have also noticed an increase of fonts offered on Creative Market. It offers 70% royalties, which is pretty good.

    I must say that most of the fonts on offer seem to me to be focussed on the lower end of the market, though. 
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 526
    edited February 9
    Jess, great insights, thanks!

    > the more prominent indie foundries seem to do rather well

    By definition?
    BTW somehow they also happen to be the ones that complain about MyFonts the most... Anyway, mostly I would interested to see "non-prominent" foundries get more of a voice (although that's a bit utopian, I admit).
  • ybaggar said:

    Confusing what is good for myfonts and what is good for a designer on myfonts is a mistake.

    Agreed! What is best for MyFonts overall may not be best for the individual designers selling there.
    ybaggar said:

    If myfonts' strategy is wrong for you, the question is, why are you still there? Or can you still make it work for you somehow? Is the solution to also make heavy discounts and bundles and low prices?

    It's not a binary question: MyFonts strategy/marketing can be less than perfect for a given type designer or foundry, but that doesn’t mean that they would be better off not selling at all on MyFonts. Nor does it necessarily mean that they have to dramatically change their discounting and bundling strategy. Certainly that is one way to deal with the situation, but not the only way. Whether abandoning MyFonts might make sense would depend on just how much worse than ideal the MyFonts approach is for that particular designer/foundry, combined with what their alternatives are.
  • ybaggarybaggar Posts: 55
    "Can you still make it work for you" = non binary.
    I never pretended having the answer. I only thought it worthwhile to point out the possibility that following the trend of heavy discounting/low prices is not necessarily the only way, and that FF Din's success at its price was a strong sign for that. Because I feel like there is often a "following" attitude in the market, and especially on myfonts… "if others are discounting, I should do to… If others do that… I should do to".
    That leads to designers and foundries becoming very similar on myfonts. Which meets what Thierry says.

    @Botio Nikoltchev I saw you live in Berlin. In May I will be back there, I'll be happy to meet you for coffee if you want. Anton also lives pretty close to you.
  • Lata gataLata gata Posts: 758
    I don't sell through MyFonts or any other reseller, but I have noticed a dramatic drop in sales since the US Presidential election. 
  • ybaggar Cool! Will be happy to meet you guys!! Just send me a mail when you will arrive. ;)
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 526
    edited February 11
    I have noticed a dramatic drop in sales since the US Presidential election. 
    What might be the explanation for that? I can only think of one: designers are too depressed to buy stuff. "No retail-therapy for you!"
  • Michael JarboeMichael Jarboe Posts: 208
    edited February 11
    Who would've ever thought having such a brilliant business mind at the helm would be bad for business? It's almost as if we've been duped. Lol
  • Sorry for being kind of off-topic, but ... I just started working on a Facebook Messenger Font Bot. Primary idea was to have another platform for my namecheck tool, but I just added a few more features, one of them being him (the bot) be able to reply to queries like "show popular fonts by shinntype". I somebody has a few more "queries" on mind I could add, I'm happy to implement those.

  • I’d be curious what the results might be if retailers set a max limit for how much of a discount could be offered (e.g. 50% is the largest, no discounts above that [90%, etc.]). It might take some emphasis off buyers being swayed by a massive promotion and perhaps cause a little more inspection to consider quality.


    The question is if lower discounts would equate to better revenue in the long run, for both foundry and retailer. It seems the large discounts help produce more units sold in a shorter time, but for lower discounts, the money earned—for both the retailer and foundry—would be higher for each purchase. And then you don’t have anyone able to undercut the “competition” by offering a drastically different discount than what the norm or expectation is amongst buyers.


    It seems the large discounts are working “enough” with retailers, which is maybe why it has continued presently…otherwise it would be changed I figure. And this wondering is a bit of a rehashing perhaps of how things were before the introduction of large discounts and “cheap” bundles. But the difference would be that there is an agreed upon limit and clear expectation that slowly might help shift things.


    I suppose a key would be that this limited-discount scenario would need to be adopted by all the major retailers to keep the playing field more even, otherwise I would guess buyers would look elsewhere to find larger discounts.

  • Adam Ladd said:

    I’d be curious what the results might be if retailers set a max limit for how much of a discount could be offered (e.g. 50% is the largest, no discounts above that [90%, etc.])....

    I suppose a key would be that this limited-discount scenario would need to be adopted by all the major retailers to keep the playing field more even, otherwise I would guess buyers would look elsewhere to find larger discounts.


    I imagine (at least) that part of your analysis is sound. However, what you describe reads to me—admittedly, not a lawyer—as pretty much the textbook definition of “price fixing.” Except for some particular goods markets for which it is deemed necessary to maintain stability, price fixing highly illegal for most goods, in most countries with robust legal systems and consumer protections, including the US, Canada and the EU.

    https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/competition-guidance/guide-antitrust-laws/dealings-competitors/price-fixing

    “A plain agreement among competitors to fix prices is almost always illegal, whether prices are fixed at a minimum, maximum, or within some range.”

    See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing
    http://europa.eu/youreurope/business/sell-abroad/free-competition/index_en.htm

  • Good points, Thomas. Yes, there could be/is a share of legal considerations to counter something like that.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,401
    Even if all involved did form a price-fixing cartel someone would just start a new bundle site. It’s not hard to create a web store for fonts if you’re just selling desktop licenses for 1–5 users. A competent designer could do it in a few hours with Fastspring and a Wordpress template.
  • I hear you, agree. That's part of a competitive market, you have different options, different places, and someone understandably will always want to offer the best deal.
  • In a race to the bottom, everyone loses.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 604
    edited February 18
    I don't know if it's really a race to the bottom unless we're sacrificing quality on the way. If I sell a typeface family for $100 to 10 people, $10 to 100 people or $1 to 1000 people, it doesn't make me want to make me cut corners on the next product any more or less. I get paid just as much in all 3 scenarios.

    Price affects perceived value but it's not the same as making shoddy toasters at absolute minimum cost to have the lowest price on the shelf. Is it? And a lower price doesn't necessarily make lower perceived value, for example: music track pricing.

    There are negative consequences to making a font 100% free (overexposure) but I think in the $1 scenario, the customer wins.

    I'm really thinking that bundles and deep discounting aren't a problem at all, they're a symptom of something. Does this happen in other fields? Any economists care to explain this phenomenon? I want to art college so I have no idea what I'm talking about.
  • Thierry BlancpainThierry Blancpain Posts: 152
    edited February 18
    I’m not an economist either but I’d offer the guess that product differentiation in the market is pretty low for many consumers – most people can’t tell apart 90% of all humanist sans serifs or grotesques from each other. So why should they pay $100 when they can pay $20 per style for something that’s probably nearly as or as good? In that environment and on MT’s platforms, deep discounting is the way to get a lot of volume moving quickly, which gets you onto sales charts, which gets your further attention that can then maybe be turned into more enduring success.

    Markets with low differentiation of the actual products are where a designer’s or a foundry’s brand and marketing work can come in and have an impact. Think about other markets with a high importance for branding and marketing. There’s discount offerings, but many offerings differentiate themselves from others through marketing/branding.

    Of course Circular is a really good design, but if it hadn’t been designed by Brunner and released by Lineto, would it have received the same amount of attention? Surely not. The same could be said for some FF typefaces of recent years that probably benefited quite a bit from the FontFont brand.

    Circular had been in use by highly regarded designers for 6+ years before its public release. Lineto typefaces always are being used forever before they’re released to the public. Brunner himself designed the "Most Beautiful Swiss Books" catalogue with it in the years 2007–2009:


  • > most people can’t tell apart 90% of all humanist sans serifs or grotesques from each other.

    When a type designer has trouble telling them apart, there's a problem...
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,110
    When font prices dropped in the early-mid 90s, thanks to Microsoft and Corel, profits plummeted.

    But mainly thanks to Adobe, for bundling free fonts on CDs with Photoshop and Illustrator.
     
    Remember, this was before the internet and e-commerce, and the font market was primarily graphic designers using… Photoshop and Illustrator.
  • I tend to think of Adobe’s bundling, and their price drops, as a response to Corel and Microsoft. Corel started bundling 830 fonts with CorelDraw in 1990.

    Adobe had their own discounted “Type Sets” collections as early as the summer of 1991, following on the availability of Adobe Type Manager. But they were not quite on the scale of Corel. Corel bundled vastly more fonts than Adobe did (830 vs 220), and kept their old app versions available at substantially lower prices than Adobe charged. Although initially there were some sketchy fonts in Corel's collection, most of the junk was fairly soon replaced by stuff from Bitstream, ITC, and URW. They became a big bundle of good quality fonts that in their previous-release version you could find at a supermarket.
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