For the creation of an International Association of Type Designers. Post your proposals here.

Options
123457»

Comments

  • Nick Shinn
    Nick Shinn Posts: 2,152
    edited September 2023
    Options
    How then do you explain big companies that pursue the trending initiatives of DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion), beyond such measures as are required by the laws of their country? Certainly, the business justification is given of empowering employees and better talent acquisition, but without denying that, I would say DEI stems from ethical pressure in the media‚ to make their diet more plant-based, as it were.

  • Andreas Stötzner
    Options
    I think the relevant point is that there are 10 times as much fonts on the market than actually needed. And 10 times as much font providers. Distribution power players have more than plenty of choice and are in a comfortable position to dictate the conditions of trade. And 99% of font end users don’t feel any need to care about fonts at all, because they have enough of it right at hand already. High-end professional font business is a micro niche for the ‘happy few’.
    Who is a new society supposed to represent? And who would be the adressee of its activities?
    Realistically, I don’t see any case for a new association of font designers. I can’t help feeling this debate is a waste of time.
  • Thomas Phinney
    Thomas Phinney Posts: 2,778
    edited September 2023
    Options
    Andreas, I think one can totally agree with the gist of your first paragraph, yet come to different conclusions.

    I think those are exactly the reasons that some people feel the need for (other-than-libre) type designers to band together! It seems you think that, even unified, they wouldn’t have enough power to accomplish anything. I am unconvinced.

    What I think is super interesting is, that Google Fonts now has over 1500 families (1562 at the moment), and their quality has continued to inch upwards. Yet as far as I can tell, the full-on retail-font apocalypse some of us predicted has clearly not happened. Adobe Fonts and MyFonts are both still very large. Maybe retail font licensing has been trending downwards, but if so it is certainly not a precipitous collapse. I think Google Fonts could have 3000 or even 5000 families, instead of 1500, and it still wouldn’t “kill” the retail fonts business,
  • Andreas Stötzner
    Options
    Thomas and John, I see your points and I tend to conclude. But what actually could it be? I have not read a compelling idea about that so far in this conversation (or I missed something).
    A sort of ‘association’ – or something else? That is the question. In either case I guess it would have to be an entity (of whatever kind and organisation type) which is a player in the market. Which role could the body take on and how? From which resources would the body draw it’s power to influence that market? What are the actual goals of potential members, and how are these goals to be pursued? – I have no idea. Maybe I’m too old.
  • James Montalbano
    James Montalbano Posts: 87
    edited September 2023
    Options
    While I am no longer associated with the Type Directors Club (TDC) during my 20+ years with the organization the issue that kept coming up, but no one was able to accommodate, was the deep desire to have a "CLUB" where members could meet, talk, share, and have a few drinks in the process. I've had countless discussions on how the provide such an environment, but ultimately it could not be done. I have given up hope that any professional/social organization can be successful in this current environment. I had hoped to turn the TDC into something resembling a English gentleman's club, with a dedicated space and an reasonalbly stocked bar, but that did not come to pass. As I write this I am enjoying a "Brooklyn" cocktail, as perhaps you all have ascertained.
  • James Montalbano
    Options
    For those of you unfamiliar with a "Brooklyn" the recipe is here: https://www.liquor.com/brooklyn-cocktail-recipe-5088476

  • Andreas Stötzner
    Options
    For those of you unfamiliar with a "Brooklyn" the recipe is here: https://www.liquor.com/brooklyn-cocktail-recipe-5088476

    James,
    if you’d venture for founding a Brooklyn Club, I’m in.

  • Igor Petrovic
    Igor Petrovic Posts: 264
    edited September 2023
    Options
    Given the fact that almost any human consumes products of type design and that still vast majority of them can't name 5-10 different fonts — like they can easily name brands from other industries — I believe that the potential is in getting new customers rather than fighting for the existing ones.

    As for Andreas' concerns, my current perspective is that many different points of incentive are a way (at least for now) instead of one big association. So the many small groups of relative people that naturally tend to collaborate, without devising complicated membership/voting/ownership systems.

    I think that an important question in that sense is why Monotype keeps fonts from independent type designers on their stores if they already have such a huge library. I would say it's because otherwise, other type designers would sell their own fonts elsewhere. And I mean "sell" not "offer"...
  • Thomas Phinney
    Options
    If you just want to have a place to discuss issues, I think a forum such as ATypI (or TypeCon) is a fine place for it. People are coming to these things anyway.

    Such fora might be concerned that you keep clear of discussions/actions that might violate anti-trust laws—but you would be well advised to be aware of anti-trust issues anyway, I should think.

    If you need a body to take actions and somehow “represent” indy type designers as an interest group, and specifically exclude big foundries, distributors, and interested end users, even from the audience or being able to ask questions in Q&A, then a new entity is necessary.

    Even if you want to control the attendees, if it is going to be in person, it makes a lot of sense to do it alongside a regular conference that many of y’all might be going to. Hold it the day after, or something?

    Of course, a virtual meetup is also completely possible....
  • John Hudson
    Options
    Andreas:

    In either case I guess it would have to be an entity (of whatever kind and organisation type) which is a player in the market
    This. We are not short of places to talk—even private places to talk if we need them—but only organisation for cooperation at an operational level within the market is going to change the conditions under which we currently operate. Debating which corporations are allowed to be in a club is getting no one anywhere, because what is needed isn’t a club, but a better corporation.
  • Diego Aravena
    Diego Aravena Posts: 10
    edited September 2023
    Options
    I believe a real solution lies in technology, similar to what happened with cypherpunks and coding in the 90s, but I don't want to change the topic.

    On the other hand, having a place to talk is something that's happening now. In London, and I think in Barcelona as well, there is Typethursday with a low fee entry, unlike Atypi, which charges preposterous ones. People gather to discuss what is going on and share truly inspiring insights. In the meantime, creating more spaces like that would be useful and hopefully won't become something exclusive and expensive like established events.
  • Carl Crossgrove
    Options
    One piece that is compelling in this discussion: A collective: many foundries together would each need to spend much less on marketing, legal, etc. and the available profits could be more equitably distributed (and more transparently). It looks to me like type designers have mostly siezed the means of production already, so there are fewer barriers to owning the distribution and marketing functions than in other fields. Small foundries already do this, but with much greater individual effort. It isn’t like live music ticket sales and venue booking, or shelf space on retail grocery store shelves. What are the needed parts? What would such a collective look like? Seems like we already have some firm preferences and policy opinions.