Anyone up for a Game of Hypotheticals?



  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 571
    edited August 5
    @Ray Larabie oh, well, I didn't mean marketing and presentation either.  I'm talking about the licensing model exclusively.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,205
    Perhaps this contretemps illustrates the fundamental question underlying much anxiety in our industry: What are we selling? (and, hence, what are we marketing? what are we supporting? what are we trying to keep going?)

    Both Joyce and Ray provide good answers to that question, and those answers seem to me complementary: Joyce is presuming the importance of design and looking at the question from the perspective of the licensing model, while Ray is coming at the question in terms of design and associated phenomena of trends and fashions. There are other, equally complementary answers too, e.g. the emphasis that @Jess McCarty puts on buulding customer relations. The fact that these are all complementary means that there is no single answer to the question, and hence no single solution to the anxiety: to run a foundry is to do all these things, and to run a single-person foundry is to do all these things oneself.

    I always find Joyce’s insights helpful, because she encourages us to think about the font business in ways that perhaps are less comfortable for us, especially if we’re designers and tend more towards Ray’s line of thinking. How many of us actually have a good grasp of the distinction between IP licensing and software licensing models? I didn’t really think about it until Joyce made me. You don’t need to agree with her conclusions to appreciate the distinction and why it might be important.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 571
    edited August 5
    Thanks @John Hudson.  I'm constantly struggling to find ways to articulate this problem.  I've been chewing away at the explanation for about nine years now and you've known me for most of that. 

    "IP vs Software" is my latest attempt at framing the same thing.  I arrived at it this year after a conversation with a friend who was shocked that I think broadcast licensing is confusing to customers.  "But these same companies buy broadcast licensing for music" he said.

    He was right and so I thought about it and realised that the cognitive dissidence arrises from the fact that fonts are software licensed in a hybrid model with IP licensing.  I think some of this is unavoidable but that to the extent we can choose one model it will be more intuitive to customers. You're definitely right that there's a way this confirmed my priors.  Someone else would have seen that and decided to double down on the IP model (friends of mine have). 

    I really do try to be pragmatic, the reason I've been beating the "fonts are software and we need to accept that" drum for so long is that I think as long as we use software to package the typeface into a font we don't have a choice
  • @Ray Larabie To continue your analogy, there’s ample reasons why top fashion brands don’t sell their clothes in malls.
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    Thanks everyone for your revelatory and insightful comments.
    I am heartily sorry that some among us loss patience with my process. My sole defense lies in my first post, which began with a quote from Albert Einstein— “If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it," often paraphrased as "Only those who attempt the absurd can achieve the impossible." Call me schooled, call me chastened, call me Don Quixote.
  • Matthijs HerzbergMatthijs Herzberg Posts: 116
    edited August 21
    @Nick Curtis No disrespect Nick, but again, nobody has an issue with your idea. You just didn't present an idea at all.
    Although, for what it's worth, you did trigger a conversation 66 comments long.
  • Nick CurtisNick Curtis Posts: 113
    …for what it's worth, you did trigger a conversation 66 comments long.
    Matthijs, no offense taken where none is intended.
    I lost almost off all of the month of August due to a number of successive hospitalizations. In my absence, my subject—along a whole lot more of which I was not aware—revealed itself in the course of those very same 66 comments.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,130
    Sorry to hear you’ve been ill, and wishing you nothing but the best, old bean! I hope you are done with whatever thing(s) have been troubling your health.
Sign In or Register to comment.