The Morisawa competition is open.

Morisawa’s semi-annual type design competition is open until 31 January. Note that it is free to enter.

Comments

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,141
    edited November 1
    The grande dame of typeface design competitions.
    Go for it, people.
  • Some link?
  • Christian ThalmannChristian Thalmann Posts: 1,172
    edited November 2
    Do you know whether discussion of a work in progress in a critique thread here on the forums goes under «made public» for the purposes of eligibility to the Morisawa competition?
    Rules say:

    -Interpretation of Public / Publish
    Whether free or not, typefaces that have been made available for purchase or download on any website, whether commercial or non-commercial.
    Typefaces that have already been licensed.

    -Not defined as Public / Publish
    Demonstration of designs on college and school websites.
    Demonstration of designs on personal blogs, portfolio, social networking service (non-downloadable) and making references in third parties’ interviews.

    I guess this is not a school website, but close enough...?
  • OK, thanks!
  • Do you know what's in it for the organizers ?

    I mean, it sounds too beautiful to be true: the competition is free to enter, winners get money prize (and quite a fair amount if my calculations are right)...
    Do we grant them some rights over the typefaces we submit ? Or am I just looking for evil where there's no reason to do so ?

    Thanks in advance ! 
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,141
    edited November 3
    I think we might be conditioned to believe evil is the only way...  :-/
    Just because most competitions exist to make money for the organizers (a very famous one even has the gall to charge the winners extra) does not mean it's impossible to believe that promoting culture is a Good Thing, and for an organization to act on that. The protoType competition in 2016 was free to enter and had some promotion (but did not offer a prize). But the best example is Granshan: free to enter every year since 2008, 1000 Euro top prize, and plenty of promotion. (Although this year it didn't take place, and I'm worried...)
  • From the Competition guidelines:

    "
    Those submitting their designs to the competition retain the copyrights for their works. However, with regard to commercialization of all prize-winning works, Morisawa Inc. shall have priority rights for negotiation for 6 months starting from the date of the result announcement. Designers of the prize-winning works shall not be permitted to hold negotiations or to conclude contracts, memorandums, or agreements pertaining to the commercialization or licensing of the works with any third-party other than Morisawa Inc. during this period without the written permission by Morisawa Inc.

    Morisawa Inc. shall also hold the right for negotiation for the commercialization of works that have not received awards in the competition. Designers of such works shall not, however, be barred from negotiating for the commercialization of works with any party other than Morisawa Inc.

    "

  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 233
    Doesn't the last paragraph state the obvious? If so, is it in there just to give a hint that Morisawa might be interested in non-winning entries as well?
  • Wait, so Morisawa Inc. would want to «commercialize» winning entries? Would they sell licenses from their website? On on MyFonts, through some Morisawa account...? Would they get to set the price...? I'm confused.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,141
    edited November 3
    Linotype's two (?) "TakeType" competitions also had a similar clause.

    BTW it's interesting that Twombly won the Gold Prize the first year (AFAIK) that the Morisawa competition was held (1984) but it ended up licensed to Bitstream.
    Wait, so Morisawa Inc. would want to «commercialize» winning entries? Would they sell licenses from their website? On on MyFonts, through some Morisawa account...? Would they get to set the price...? I'm confused.
    From what I've noticed, Japanese typeface end up under Morisawa, while Latin ones end up under the competition partner, which used to be Adobe, then FontBureau... but now I can't tell. And I'm not sure about non-Japanese non-Latins...
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 233
    And I'm not sure about non-Japanese non-Latins...
    Is there such category in the contest? I think not.
  • My reading is that it means that Morisawa might be interested in any and all fonts submitted to the competition. The winners are restricted for 6 months to negotiate with Morisawa (terms TBD). It is up to you and them to determine the licensing terms. My guess would be a percentage royalty for sales. 

    Anyway, that's the deal. If you're ok with it, submit. Otherwise, pass. :)
  • Adam Jagosz
    Is there such category in the contest? I think not.
    You're right, there's only Kanji and Latin.
    I'm still curious to find out what foundry is now Morisawa's Latin partner. Unless they've started to produce/sell Latin themselves.

    BTW, I think any typeface that can win at Morisawa probably took so long to finish that possibly waiting an extra six months is nothing.  :-)
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 1,489
    I'm still curious to find out what foundry is now Morisawa's Latin partner.
    As announced at ATypI 201 in Montreal, it's Cyrus Highsmith's Occupant Fonts. I'm not aware of any change since then.

    Relevant Morisawa press releases from 2017:
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,141
    edited November 4
    Right, I'd forgotten that Occupant Fonts is actually Morisawa's Latin branch now. Which means Morisawa indeed no longer needs a Latin partner. So I'm guessing any Latin licensees resulting from the competition would end up under Occupant Fonts. Not a bad place to be.
  • >>(a very famous one even has the gall to charge the winners extra)<<
    No one is twisting arms to force you to enter.

  • I'm still somewhat nebulous on how that would work. So a winning typeface would be released under the Occupant Fonts label from Cyrus' website? Would that prevent the designer from also selling the same typeface under their own label? Or would it be considered a joint release by Occupant and the author's foundry? Would the typeface ever end up on MyFonts?
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,141
    edited November 4
    > No one is twisting arms to force you to enter.

    True. It's still borderline scammy fine-print. And it's so easy to forego the bad juju with a single-digit increase in the fee to submit.
  • @Christian Thalmann the way I read it none of that has to happen. It's just that in the first half year after the award, Morisawa holds the exclusive right to negotiate a deal with you, the content of which are of course up to negotiation. I assume, if you make very clear that you will not be taking any deal at all, they'll cut you lose anyway and give 'written consent' so you could do whatever you want. Even if that is not the case, you would simply have to wait half a year, and then do as you please.
  • But Christian's questions stand for the six month period; the answers might discourage a submission.
  • Huh, that prize money is significant. I guess that alone takes the bite out of a half-year waiting period.
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 800
    FWIW, I don’t believe that Occupant Fonts is Morisawa’s sole source or outlet for Latin fonts.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,141
    edited November 5
    If so, I assume Occupant Fonts would still have dibs on a winning Latin; maybe (internally to Morisawa) even any Latin submitted. Although maybe not for six months.  :-)
    Huh, that prize money is significant. I guess that alone takes the bite out of a half-year waiting period.
    More than a bite, even the Bronze prize is probably more than the typeface could make in that time period, anywhere (especially considering its designer might need to pay for technical production themselves).
  • Kent LewKent Lew Posts: 800
    I’m not sure that’s how the relationship works or how Cyrus is managing his library.
    But we’re just speculating.
    If Christian is really interested in understanding better the ramifications, he could try reaching out to some of those who won in the Latin category in the 2016 competition and asking what their experience was like.
    At least three of them were TypeMedia 2016 graduates (Bart, Jitka, and Marc).
  • That's a great idea.

    BTW nothing makes the facts come out of the woodwork like public speculation...  :->
Sign In or Register to comment.