Type Network

Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,391
edited June 2016 in Type Business


  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,398
    I wondered if we'd see a thread on this!

    I'm curious to hear more about how this represents "a new model for type design, development, licensing, and use."
  • @Craig Eliason

    These tweets seem to explain it somewhat.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 1,398
    Thanks, that helps a little. Though wasn't, say, the old FontShop run by type designers, allowing designers to keep ownership of their work, and handling the paperwork?
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,379
    That is a mighty fine looking site.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,144
    Do the type designers represented, other than the owners of Font Bureau, have equity in Type Network?
  • Yes, Nick, Type Designers other than FB have equity in TN.

    Thanks Ray! Over the years a great group of people worked on the opportunity, first as FB 3.0, and then after some industry changes, it became Nick Sherman's to name, as you see he did well. Nick, Chris Lewis, Indra, the Mr. Coles, and this forum, made outstanding contributions to the foundation. It is a fundation that took a few turns to the larger as more foundries spoke, causing us to go into several overtime periods.

    But thanks to everyone around here who worked on it near and far, past and present.

    I should also say, as far as I know, that most of the marketing material written by TN, is not intended to impress foundry or type design ears, so I won't apologize for it not answering all of your questions. Thanks.

  • David, re: “marketing material”, how about us (apparently?) easily-impressed typographers?

    I have long respected Font Bureau and your designers, and support any endeavour that empowers independent type design, but I’ve found this marketing language rather opaque and unclear. Not just on the “new model” hyperbole side, but also on a basic “I like it, what is it?” side. I had to read through that main introductory paragraph several times, and I still don’t truly understand what TypeNetwork actually is.

    I’m surprised by this dismissive tone, apparently both towards type designers (“not for you, you don’t need to know what this is and how it works”) AND of, I presume, graphic designers and typographers (“here’s some bold type and bright colours, don’t worry your pretty little heads about how this all works!”). I think that anyone who admires and respects a type foundry (or in this case, a network) also wants to understand how it works and, when grand statements are made, what they really mean.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,970
    edited June 2016
    Congrats to everyone who worked on Type Network. It's an impressive new business. Are you planning to let in designers not associated with Font Bureau? And if so, when?
  • I don’t really understand why people are jumping all over them for not laying everything out right at the start. The whole project has been live for a grand total of three days? I would imagine they are pretty busy right now and will provide more information later on.

    I wouldn’t expect their marketing material to be directed at other type designers. As it stands now, both their marketing and business strategy are more informative and open than a few other well-known online type shops.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,973
    PS. Given the timing of the TN roll-out, I'm presuming that more information is likely to be forthcoming at the upcoming Typographics conference.
  • Thank you for your visits, and your comments. 

    James Goggin, you must have had a good teacher somewhere. So, I'm interested in your views on launch marketing and what would like to have seen written about the launch of your foundry. Or, do you think my explanation and apology above is dissmissive?

    James II, thank you. TN has founder partners via Webtype who are not associated with FB. FB has no more jurisdiction over TN partnerships than any other one foundry. No TN foundry has veto power over inclusion. The process of developing the process is ongoing, and ultimately evolutionary. Contact inf@ for the proper potion. 

    James III, agreed. You'd think independents would grant a little independence to a fellow independent, but such is the independent mind, eh. I've had normally great folk jumping out from behind the kerning bush to tell me they are too independent for TN on one hand, and then flaying me like a May hare for FB's independent moves. 

    John I, TN was building of real and proposed infrastructure and dummy content for over three years. Late last month, we decided we were safe. I think when we started, there were a lot fewer conferences. I suppose the time it has taken has changed that, so any launch will hit some type conference, no?

    Are you in nyc for that?

  • David Berlow said:
    I should also say, as far as I know, that most of the marketing material written by TN, is not intended to impress foundry or type design ears, so I won't apologize for it not answering all of your questions. Thanks.
    Hi David,

    I'm very excited about Type Network, and apologise if I came across too harshly.

    I was referring to the above part of your comment, which felt dismissive to both type designers and whomever the actual intended audience is for the marketing material. 

    And that marketing material itself sounding a bit too corporate and, well, “marketing”, to my ears, coming from a network of independent foundries and designers that is, as I understand it, set up in part to counter the prevailing corporatisation/monopolisation of type foundries. Admittedly I'm mostly talking about just the main intro on the homepage part of what is ultimately a fantastic website that of course displays the foundries and typefaces beautifully.

    I have broad issues with branding- and corporate-speak spreading into the cultural sphere (and I definitely count type design as “culture”!), so perhaps this is more my problem than yours!

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,973
    Are you in nyc for that?

    Alas, no. I was hoping to be, but June being end-of-financial-year for a major client means that it is always my busiest month trying to wrap up projects.

  • We're not entitled to know all the internal details. And we can't really get too upset about hyperbolic marketese. But to me asking for clarifications is totally OK. Because we're all in this together (although admittedly to varying degrees of dependence) and indies are affected by other indies just as much as they're affected by the juggernaut(s).

    I could wonder whether the "founder partners via Webtype who are not associated with FB" are actual designers, or investors. But frankly that's secondary to what I see as the upcoming litmus test: will non-FB designers be allowed to sell on Type Network, and under what conditions? That's what will reveal how designer-at-large–centric TN really is.
  • The impression I'm getting is that TN is new kind of font vendor, but (for now) only for close circle of foundries and designers, gathered together by their criteria. Am I right? 

    What I didn't understood is that does each foundry/designer now use TN as official website or they will keep their personal websites active (which imply also will TN website also keep all rights of selling their fonts only on TN and not on personal website of each foundry/designer)?
  • Tamye RiggsTamye Riggs Posts: 7
    edited June 2016
    David Jonathan Ross is on Type Network and also launched his personal foundry site yesterday. http://djr.typenetwork.com | https://djr.com

  • But so far everybody, including DJR, on Type Network is (I'm having to actually guess, was) a Font Bureau employee.

    It's possible FB actually "divested" its designers, but hopefully –and seemingly– giving them a handsome severance package of sorts via a share in Type Network. Which is all totally kosher. However the fate of non–formerly-FB designers will most likely involve the small matter of a royalty cut...
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,144
    According to Johnson’s Dictionary (1755):

    Network: Any thing reticulated or decussated, at equal distances, with interstices between the intersections. 
  • So Type Network fonts are now exclusive to Type Network. Nice move. I wonder if eventual* non–formerly-FB contributors will be required to grant exclusivity as well.

    * Assuming that ever happens.
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,458
    I certainly hope TypeNetwork thrives.  It is a big hope for the Indy type designers of the World to have a chance.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,973
    At TypeCon, Sybille Hagmann's Kontour foundry was announced as the first non-FB legacy foundry to sign up with Type Network.
  • I missed Hagmann's talk. Did she mention whether there's a difference between the deal former FB people get versus newcomers?
  • It wasn't in her talk. It was announced at the TypeNetwork party on Saturday before the type quiz. She wasn't the one who made the announcement.
  • Are you sure, Mark? I feel like I heard it at the end of her talk.
  • She did announce it at the very end of the talk. Must be because I remember the announcement and I missed the TN party. :)
  • Now that you mention it, I do remember that. I'd forgotten.
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