Instagram adds TYPE mode to Stories

Another huge product/font integration this week after the Microsoft Store announcement, now Instagram Stories adds a "type" mode. Only 4 typefaces though.

Screenshots I took:


  • A good start.
    Any idea how the fonts were sourced?
  • edited February 2018
    Hi all. :)
    I'm coming here to ask for a little help with something about one of those new fonts in instagram. 
    I'd like to know what you think about the limits one has to deal with when designing fonts. I mean, when "inspiration" becomes a mere "copy" of your source. 
    I found that the font called Neon has its capitals really inspired if not just copied of my font Selfie. This font of mine is nowadays a best-seller and I understand that it could have become really visible to the world of type-drawers: I have seen it copied several times by people who call themselves lettering artists but just trace others work, in example. In that case I write to them and they kindly remove the images.
    But this went too far. Instagram is not an independant designer. Instagram is BIG.
    So, please if you can help me, I'd like to hear your thoughts, maybe you know more than me about legal issues. I'd be really grateful.
    I'm attaching an image for you to see the comparison.
    Curves are almost the same, only that Neon has less quality technically speaking.
    I don't know the process this type-designer followed, but I'm 100% sure he/she was looking at my font when making it.

  • If so, it's a poor imitation, for what it's worth.
  • I don't have much legal knowledge, but I think large companies like instagram are probably likely to try to settle outside of court, to avoid creating a scandal. You might be able to get a very tidy sum of money out of this, but if it's 'justice' you want, that might be difficult.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,688
    edited February 2018
  • Yes, it's conceptually quite similar. But the execution is generally different, and the concept is not an original one.
  • There is not enough similarity to accuse anyone of copying the other.
  • Personal opinion only

    They are surely a similar skeleton, but many details and proportions are different so I don't think there's any basis on which to make a claim. 

    Your own design doesn't come out of nowhere, it is based on historical precedents, and even if they are long gone from your eyes when you start to work on a black file or empty page, and the instragra designer was as you claim just looking at your work on the best sellers list for inspiration, ultimately you both drew on others work; "if we drew it then it's ours" is, in my opinion, a fair way to balance the sociocultural context with the auteur. 

    I also don't think this is relegated to the anonymous jobbing work of the ty-polatariat: There is an old erik spiekermann video where he explains looking at something, studying it, and then drawing "his version" on a blank page, is an approach he has used.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 972
    edited February 2018
    Actually, I saw Neon doing well a few months ago and thought hey, I should do a monoline script too. I started looking at old metal script type and doing tests based on those classic forms and gave up because I absolutely suck at scripts.

    Correction: I was looking at Cosmopolitan by Fenotype. I think monoline scripts are especially hard because it's really obvious if the curves are wrong. With thick and thin strokes I can probably do a better job of hiding my incompetence. I mean, look at Beloved by Laura really gotta know what they hell you're doing to make something like that.
  • Thanks to all.
    Some of the comments were not very nice, since I'm the designer of Selfie and I know what I'm taking about. I wouldn't start a post if I wasn't sure.

    When Ray Larabie said:

    "If you look through Encyclopedia of Typefaces or other metal type catalogs you can find loads of fonts with similar capitals. Neon's capitals have more in common with the capitals in those typefaces that yours".
    Loads of fonts??????
    I disagree 100%. 
    You are treating me as if I didn't know anything about history of type.

    Many of my fonts are inspired in classical calligraphy ductus, in this case, Selfie has its capitals inspired in the copperplate or english roundhand. So if you said that I would agree, but saying that "Neon's capitals have more in common with the capitals of those typefaces (of the Encyclopedia)". You are wrong. Please find me some examples of fonts existing before 2014 that are similar to my Selfie, with all the swashes etc.

    In fact, now that you named COSMOPOLITAN, I saw that THAT font is exactly the same Instagram is using (with the name Neon) And guess what? In Cosmopolitan's description he says he was inspired in Selfie. 

    So, ok, I was right. What can I do? Nothing, because that font has existed for 2 years now, and when I saw it I didn't complain. After all, he changed all the lowercase letters, so it's not a mere copy.

    Have a nice day.

  • BTW, I didn't want to be rude at all. 
    I just came and register in this forum because I wanted some help and advice regarding an issue I was sure about and some of the answers were (at least to my eye) a little unrespectful.
    However, I appreciate that you took the time to read me.
    Best! :)
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,214
    I don't think anyone was trying  to be disrespectful to you, Maximiliano, it is just that the 2 fonts are clearly different.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 1,855

    So, ok, I was right. What can I do? Nothing, because that font has existed for 2 years now, and when I saw it I didn't complain. After all, he changed all the lowercase letters, so it's not a mere copy.
    I am no lawyer, but I am reasonably sure that the law doesn't work that way. There may be a statute of limitations, but I am pretty sure it is more than two years.

    (Aside from how strong your case is or is not.)
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