In 2019 I was contacted by Jason Harcombe, apparently the founder of FontPeople, with the intention of presenting his website as a potential marketplace to distribute my fonts. He also said he’d been in contact with other foundries to be part of it. From what I see, the site now operates just as a foundry. Although I supplied files merely with the purpose of creating assets to promote my fonts on the website, I never granted FontPeople any permissions to distribute or modify them since the project didn’t materialize as it was described at the end.
I was browsing FontSpring and got unpleasantly surprised when stumbled on a typeface called Testun. This family looks identical to one of mine called Mayonez, published in 2013. It's easy to notice that the only effort put into making Testun different was changing the name and maybe some other font info. According to FontSpring’s site, Testum was designed by Iachawr Telyncombe – from whom I didn’t find any information – and published by FontPeople. As if this wasn’t irritating enough, this knockoff is also available in Creative Market and FontPeople’s site at a significantly lower price.
If you’re one of the foundries that have been contacted by FontPeople before, you might want to check their site to make sure your work hasn’t been subject of the same treatment. Have any of you experienced something like this? I’m not sure on how to proceed. I’m still waiting on an answer from them, but frankly I don’t see this situation left room to blame on misunderstandings.
'The world's first full-service independent type foundry...'
Whatever that means...
• Send a cease and desist letter to Font People.
FP Typewriter is URW Typewriter
Taran is Egyptienne (URW)
Suiza is Nimbus Sans (URW)
Plentyn is VAG Rounded (Linotype)
Sad to hear of this bald-faced ripoff. I didn't know the Trump family had become involved in the font industry. .
The Welsh word "iacharw" means healer.
Iacharw Telyncombe, mysterious type designer
Jason Harcombe's got back to me explaining, apologizing and offering a solution, but I still have questions and even more after reading the comments in this thread.
Thanks, Simon. I'd like to know if it's easy to access this information since I'm not good with programming and python. I'd like to prove that the person who did this took more than just the contours from the file.
I agree that I found these names very strange, especially after googling them even separately and not finding many results. But I didn't want to jump into conclussions given my ignorance on Welsh language and culture.
Yes, I have and it'll take like a week for them to respond to that. They also advice it would be better trying to solve this directly between the parties. Which makes me question if they shouldn't take more responsibility.
Interesting to see so many coincidences together. According to Harcombe this is responsibity of a designer they hired to create these fonts.
I’m ashamed of what has happened here. This is genuinely a result of me being taken for a ride by an unscrupulous individual that I intend to take this up with directly.
I have decommissioned all fonts from all platforms that are not, beyond doubt, original designs and will be closing FontPeople at the earliest juncture.
I have, this morning, resigned from my job so as not to have any reputational splash back on those that employ me.
From a personal perspective I have been diagnosed seriously sick recently, and am now without employment, so would appreciate some clemency from the industry that I’ll be leaving. I understand, however, that this is unlikely.
Jason: While I’m sorry that you’re ill, I believe that you have an obligation to come clean about this and tell all that you know, including the names and products of the type designers who may have been affected by this fraud. Without doing this, simply taking down your website, as you have done, the lost revenues will simply disappear into the ether. Naming the “unscrupulous individual” will help the entire community, and inhibit this person from setting up shop under another name.
Did you do any?
In terms of disclosing all; I couldn’t agree more. I am doing all I can to discuss with the other parties what their reasoning and explanation is for their actions. I’ve always thought it best to hear people out before dragging their names through the mud in a public forum.
My business is closed, and I’m taking steps toward restitution with those that this potentially harmed and I’ve lost my job. My deteriorating health will be more of a struggle to come to terms with than all of this, regardless.