It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
Technique and Theory
Type Design Critiques
Type Design Software
Lettering and Calligraphy
Technique and Theory
History of Typography
Suggestions and Bug Reports
Bad news for Clearview
My Expressway and Blue Highway font sales were down so I had to do something. It cost me a fortune to bribe all those politicians but I think it'll pay off in the long term.
Font sales has nothing to do with it.
Hypothetically: Consider Contractor X. He is best buddy with "The Politician" who has been seeing that his signage construction and installation business has been getting big contracts for years. Along comes something like Clearview. Even though it is a better product a new contractor gets the bid. A few years later, old contractor X gets tight with the politician's bank account and guess what ensues? The only way to dump the new contractor is to dump the typeface that goes with it.
Chris, that story doesn't make sense to me. I don't see why the font choice has much to do with any particular contractor. These are easily licensed, and the costs are a drop in the bucket relative to signage costs. Politicians aren't cheap, and the fonts are, by comparison. Cheaper to license the fonts than buy politicians, and less work too.
edited February 2016
I'll take you on for the $20,
. (Although, how will we ever know for sure?)
And as much as
and whoever else want to rationalize it in their heads there is simply no competing with free (and an open license helps, too.) The fee could be a nickel, a penny, and free would still win. This has been demonstrated time and again.
(I recommend economist and former editor of Wired Magazine's Chris Anderson's book "Free" for a rundown on competing with free.)
To borrow a term from the world of startup capital - if the customer has to cough up money, any money, there's an inherent "institutional barrier" to making a sale and the barrier is higher or lower depending upon the type of customer.
When money has to be spent, emails have to go back and forth. Maybe a meeting or two. Then more back and forth. Hem. Haw. A purchase order number has to be generated. Signatures to be gotten. The license might need a review from legal, too, who knows?
It's not the amount of money, it's the hassle of dealing with it within a bureaucracy. In those environments, nobody's got discretionary funds sitting in a drawer for this.
BTW - these editorial pieces in the Times are frustrating because there's no need for the author to check facts. If it was a news piece, the reporter would have talked to at least one potential buyer. As an "expert", all this guy Petrovski talked to was his thumb.
I've talked to plenty of buyers.
Did guidelines accompany the font rollout, beyond the current manual?
Notice of termination:
The presence and availability of two separate letter styles with differing criteria have resulted in significant confusion and inconsistency in highway sign design, fabrication processes, and application.
Interpretations, Experimentations, Changes, and Interim Approvals:
Country to Mr Fink's details of how something gets purchased (back and forth emails and POs issued) 99% of ClearviewHwy sales occurred via web orders and no one every complained about price. In fact, dealing with engineering firms and DOTs was a breath of fresh air with everyone very aware of licensing levels and how many computers can have the font installed. The only entity that seemed miffed by the fact that ClearviewHwy was an actual product with a price assigned was FHWA and they never spent a dime on anything related to Clearview.
There are other factors involved here.
Thanks for those details, James. Hey, like Will Roger's said, all I know is what I read in the papers.
I do think we all agree it's an unfortunate turn of events for all concerned, that's for sure.
Hrant H. Papazian
edited June 2016
I have to think that Clearview failed for a sadly logical reason: the systemic, arguably bureaucratic need for typographic consistency trumped the unreasonableness of requiring every single jurisdiction to buy its own license.
As Jameson opines, it was the Federal government's place to finance it, all-or-nothing. People should have realized that agreeing to a piecemeal opt-in would probably lead to eventual abandonment.
But Clearview is a great design, so I hope pragmatism will lead to it coming back, and staying for good.
edited April 2018
Good News for Clearview. March 28, 2018, FHWA has reinstituted Interim Approval for the use of Clearview.
Congrats! Glad they wised up.
Great to hear! I should let my type students know that every now and then bureaucracies get it right.
Forum Software Powered by Vanilla