Becoming a distributor

Frank FontsFrank Fonts Posts: 3
edited August 27 in Type Business
Hello all,

I'm Béla Frank, running Frank Fonts. I've been an avid reader of Typedrawers for years. Recently, I was accepted to this great community - thank you! - and this is my first post here, I believe.

I released my own designs through different resellers over the years. Since 2018 I've been running my own foundry and self-publishing my new typefaces. I've always been dealing only with my own designs.

Now, I'm about to become a distributor which is something completely new to me. I'm planning to team-up with others and license their yet-unreleased type designs with exclusive rights to distribute them through my foundry. 

I have some faint ideas about what I'd do, but I also hope there's more I can learn from you. I was wondering if there's any insight, advice, experience your could share? What's the best way to ensure that both parties make the most out of this? Is it a flat-fee or percentage after every sale or a mix of both? Is there a well-tried way to do this or everyone has different models?

Any response would be a great help, I believe.

Thank you!

Ps.: I edited the post so it's more clear now what I'm interested in now, I hope.

Comments

  • Of course you can't directly release the competitor's font because of font software copyright. Instead it should first be converted to a bitmap, which is not affected by such copyright issues due to the letterforms no longer being defined by outline points. This bitmap should be of quite a large resolution, because the next step is autotracing. After that the advance widths should be copied over from the font, as well as the em-size and the WinAscent and WinDescent values. This is important for preserving proper optical corrections in both vertical and horizontal spacing, as well as metric compatibility. The kerning, if any, should be copied over as well. The resulting font should not be released under the same name, not even a similar name because of font registered trademark. Also, if the font is patented, your resulting digitization of the design may only be released when the patent expires.
  • Frank FontsFrank Fonts Posts: 3
    edited August 27
    Hello, @Piotr Grochowski

    Thanks for your reply. I'm afraid I was too vague in my original post or it's just my English failing me.

    I'm not interested in ripping off and releasing any designs from any competitors.

    I am planning to release someone else's yet un-released original design with their agreement. I'd license the rights to distribute the fonts exclusively from them. I'm planning to become a distributor.

    What I'm looking for is business insight.
  • Hi Béla - 

    I understood what you meant.  I think that what you're talking about is actually becoming a publisher, which might be the cause of the confusion.

    I think that the best way to ensure trust is to pay a percentage of the gross sale of the license. It would be adjusted gross if you grant permission to a distributor (a larger non-foundry reseller like fontspring, myfonts, Adobe, etc) and they pay you royalties you'd only be responsible for a percentage of what you get. If you are granted permission to modify the fonts and you have a sale that includes labor you should itemize it separately so it doesn't confuse matters.  

    I'd offer one rate for exclusive distribution and another for non-exclusive, or have a good reason it needs to be exclusive.

    - Joyce
  • Hi Joyce, 

    Thank you for your comment. There are things that you mention and I considered already and others that I found sort of confusing before. Your comment helps a lot to move forward, it is really helpful!

    Thanks again!

    - Béla 
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