Foundries: What's your experience with digital marketing?

Have any of you tried keyword marketing? How many have tried banners? How did it go?


  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 992
    edited October 2020
    Not-so-subtle pitch: Fonts In Use also offers a few ad opportunities. Thanks to @Mark Simonson, Cargo, and DJR for being recurring sponsors. That said, we gladly accept real-world uses of your typefaces. Just submit as a regular user of the site.
  • @Stephen Coles I do think about taking an ad out sometimes but I also feel like the use case entries are what really push traffic to us.  My impression of customers is that they are only going to come to our site if they already know we have something they want. 

    How would you feel about me taking out an add soliciting your users to submit found uses of our less heavily used fonts for which we have trouble finding examples?
  • Love it!
  • @JoyceKetterer A nice surprise to hear that Fonts In Use is a good place to draw in customers.

    Now I'm wondering: how much better is having an ad versus just the real-world examples?
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 780
    edited October 2020
    @Hrant H. Papazian I think it depends on the buzziness of your examples.  We first realized the power of fontsinuse when Bernie Sanders chose jubilat medium for his logo.  That's when the referrals hit a level we couldn't ignore - because of a completely matter of fact post.  We try to find use examples that are either beatiful or in some way likely to spark curiosity.  That way when they ask Google "what's the font used by x?" they get told by fontsinuse and directed to us.  
  • Fonts in Use has affiliate links to the big distributors, right? So could they theoretically work out how much a font listed there has sold, or are the affiliate royalties not broken down into enough detail for that?
  • Yes, some retailers provide product sales information to affiliates and some do not.
  • Thanks, all!
  • Thanks, Raphaël and Oliver.
  • As for material eligible for Fonts In Use, how you get it? Stumble upon it, search the web, ask clients to send you examples of use, all of this? 
  • @Igor Petrovic for the longest time I just watched our orders, which I still do.  If there's no use when I first see the order I set an alarm to check in a month.  If the order is from a design studio and I see nothing after I few months (because it could be for their own use) I email them to ask if it's a client project and if they would tell me about it when it's public.  This method worked some of the time but was labor intensive and had a high failure rate.  

    Web crawlers are great but the tend to come and go so I've only used them sometimes. Besides, they only crawl high ranked sites.  These days I get fontsninja reports, which you can receive if you participate in their testing fonts program.  The data is much more organic and very useful.

  • edited October 2020
    Over the years, I've collected a sizable gallery of customer projects. I ask folks to send me pictures of their projects, and many do. Sometimes I know in advance what projects my fonts will be used in (for example, most movies and TV shows require me to sign a specific release)  Sometimes, just knowing who the client is lets me google their projects and spot my fonts that way. Sadly, some of the biggest feathers in my cap won't let me mention that they use my fonts. 

    Other times I run across my fonts in stores - on bags of meatballs at Trader Joe's, book titles at Barnes and Noble, Whole Foods shopping bags, and so on. 

    Seeing my fonts in the Harry Potter & Fantastic Beasts movies is intensely gratifying. But finding them in unexpected places always makes my day. Like this poster I found a few years ago, on the backdoor of a tiny bookshop in Stowe, Vermont, where we stopped off while on vacation. 


  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 780
    edited October 2020
    @Oliver Weiss (Walden Font Co.) I'm not an attorney but it's probably worth asking one about the projects that aren't allowing you to name them. 

    Usually confidentiality clauses expire when a project becomes public. We've had a few clients try that with us with retail fonts. They claim that the name of the font isn't part of their marketing and so therefore not public.  We've been able to argue back that the since the font itself is available elsewhere, and therefor identifiable, their thinking is nonsense. One might worry about alienating the client over a "little thing like credit" but in my experience usually none of the real decision makers actually care – it's just some attorney who doesn't have a clue.
  • Thanks, Joyce, that is a good point. I wouldn't have the budget to see something like that through, so I generally remind myself which side my bread is buttered on, and roll with their wishes. They tend to make large and regular purchases, since antarctic sea birds, mice, and clown fish all have voracious appetites for fonts.

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