I’ve worked at home since 1992. I was an art director/graphic designer then. That was before the internet; the game-changers being the telephone-answering (cassette) machine and pager—but then email and the web sealed it.
As a home-owner, it made more sense to pay “rent” into my property equity than someone else’s. And I can write off a proportion of my home expenses (mortgage, heating, etc.) as a business expense, especially for taxes.
I was able to work at home because the business is just me and Karey (spouse), with occasional e-help from other designers around the world, some of whom I have actually met at type conferences!
Flipped left quotes appeared in several pervasive American typefaces of the early 20th century. I’ve always loved them in old movie title and cartoon lettering. I made them the default in a couple of typefaces (language-tagged to English in Boxley).
On further reflection, I don’t think the relevant question for foundries is how much time or money they put into producing fonts with discretionary OT features, but how many they have published.
Because, apart from demand-side factors, your argument appears to turn on whether, if OT support were provided, there would be sufficient supply of fonts to justify it.
My foundry has ten families on the market with at least both “small caps and alternate figures”.
IMO, you can’t really publish a serif design for body text without those features.
In certain genres, discretionary features are de rigueur, and whether or not typographers end up using them, we put that stuff in there, like minority language characters and math symbols, because it’s part of doing the job right.
And again, even if a licence purchaser doesn’t end up using all the weights in a family, or all the languages, or all the features, this latency (observed in marketing and specimens) may well provide an important perception of value.
Have you checked the best-seller lists at MyFonts and FontSpring to see which of the typefaces listed there have Discretionary features? I believe that information is provided on those distributors’ sites.
Nice work Doug! I will keep you informed of my new designs.
FWIW, the type community is not “nerds”. Although there is an important technical aspect to typography, it is just as much a craft, informed by strong cultural and artistic qualities, associations and traditions—calligraphy and nostalgia (aka design history), for instance.
But you already recognize this, having gone beyond personal story as the preferred antidote to technical manual, to include items about old Swiss travel posters and the New Yorker. I like that mix!