Jinhua Mincho (designed by Xue Tianmeng at Mallikātype), winner at TDC in 2022, started its crowdfunding campaign in October this year. It has raised over 450 thousand CNY (over 65 thousand USD) at the time of writing—though still a long way to reach its goal of 750 thousand CNY (107 thousand USD) before the campaign ends in less than two weeks.
There seems to be a trend for independent (Chinese type) foundries to crowdfund their commercial releases of new Chinese type designs. For example, Ku Mincho (from Hong Kong-based Kowloon Type) back in 2021 raised over 20 million NTD (over 720 thousand USD at that time), and Lee Hon Kong Kai (restored by Hong Kong-based sign-maker Lee Kin Ming) back in 2020 raised over 1.3 million HKD (over 170 thousand USD at that time). Not to mention Taipei-based foundry justfont, which started the whole thing with Jinxuan back in 2015 with huge success; their newest release, Lanyang Ming was once again successfully crowdfunded about a year prior.
AFAIK, such business model (if we can call it that) is unheard-of in the Western type design sphere, with the “crowdfund prices” usually at 30%–50% of the retail prices. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this.