Group contact at Adobe?

AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
Greetings, everyone! It's been a little while since I was active on the forum for numerous reasons, but I have a need/question that I need to ask to someone in the group that currently works at Adobe. I feel like I used to know who I could contact, but it's been long enough that I've forgotten and I'm sure you all can help me get to the right person much faster than me trying to figure it out by going through the forum archives. TIA!


  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,584
    It would be helpful if you specified for what purpose the contact is?
    There are a lot of people who deal with type at Adobe, in a variety of roles.
    I know a bunch of them (though fewer than I used to, thanks to recent key personnel departures), but I don’t know which one to put you in contact with. Regarding joining Adobe Fonts? Font production standards? Problem with your font in (some Adobe product)?
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
    Thanks, Thomas. Great suggestion. My question is about modernizing an existing, but very old font that Adobe owns. Who would be the appropriate contact for that?
  • MrEchsMrEchs Posts: 15
    I'm not sure who the right person at Adobe is for that type of question, these days. You might have better luck posting your question here. If you'd rather not post publicly you could send me an email and I'll try to help you out. [email protected]
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,584
    I don’t know either, and Mr Echs knows the current folks there better than I would!
  • DanRhatiganDanRhatigan Posts: 31
    Are you hoping that Adobe will update one of the older Adobe Originals? (That, unfortunately, is unlikely, but may depend on which family you have in mind.) If you are interested in doing (or commissioning) the modifications for your own use, the folks at Type Network can talk with you about licensing. 
  • It’s not the first time I’ve heard that request, but admittedly it’s been quite a while. You’re not alone, though. I agree that finding a qualified third party to do that work has the best chance of succeeding, since I can’t imagine Adobe doing that work itself — although I would never rule it out, because the type team there does care. It’s just unlikely to ever be a priority among everything they want to spend their time on.

    Adobe can’t make much money on Sonata now. It would be cool if they could just open source it. (To be clear, they probably won’t, but it would be cool.)
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,319
    I'd be happy to discuss how to make it happen if Adobe folks are interested :)
  • John NolanJohn Nolan Posts: 43
    edited June 11
    FWIW, Sonata is "licensed for modification", according to this page. (See Font permissions...additional rights...permission table.)
  • FWIW, Sonata is "licensed for modification", according to this page. (See Font permissions...additional rights...permission table.)
    Note that that page is now misleading since Adobe no longer directly licenses its own fonts outside of the Adobe Fonts service (which doesn’t allow modification). It’s the license you get from the reseller than dictates modification permissions.

    Fontspring’s desktop EULA for Adobe Originals (which is written and maintained by Adobe) does allow for modifications and references the table on that Adobe web page (see Section 2.6.5). Modified fonts can’t be distributed to anyone outside of the original license, though. In other words, you can modify Sonata if you license it from Fontspring, but nobody else can use your modified font.
  • John NolanJohn Nolan Posts: 43
    edited June 11
    Yes, I should have mentioned that. Thanks, Christopher. 

    I see that Type Network also offers Adobe Originals, and, according to this page, even offers a modification service. Perhaps something could be worked out through them.
  • John NolanJohn Nolan Posts: 43
    edited June 12
    "worked out with them"...Ah, Christopher, I see you wrote that page!
  • Haha, yes. I am no longer with TN, but I’ll say that it’s unknown whether Adobe would agree to let TN or anyone modify Sonata for resale. They would easily allow TN to do it for a customer, much like when a customer does it on their own. In theory, if it was done once, TN would then have the font and could license it to anyone who purchases their own license (if Adobe approved).
  • John NolanJohn Nolan Posts: 43
    Yes, that's what I was thinking...if Graham can communicate what's needed to TN, then  perhaps TN could provide the re-encoded Sonata to end users at a reasonable cost.
  • Jens KutilekJens Kutilek Posts: 316
    Heretic opinion: Maybe Sonata is requested only because of its "legendary" status and not based on actual merit? I had a quick look and it seems its drawing quality is not up to current standards, certainly not better than what's available under OFL in SMuFL fonts, like Bravura and Leland.

    What's so special about Sonata, maybe I'm missing something?
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,584
    I certainly see some… less than ideal things in these glyphs. They do seem a bit glitchy!
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,818
    I worked on revisions to a custom font for music software some years ago, and I think a big problem with the whole genre of music fonts is slavish conformity to the conventions of engraved sheet music inherited from the 19th Century, even as those conventions degraded over time.
  • @AbrahamLee I am an appropriate contact at Adobe. I'll DM you.
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
    Thanks everyone for your comments! Yes, the font has some artifacts that should be addressed. It is "legendary" and very old, which makes it of interest, and if it could be modernized and properly encoded to be compliant with the latest SMuFL version, I think that would be enough to breathe a bit of new life back into it.

    @John Hudson, I completely agree with your viewpoint. I've also seen and taken some part in some very modern experiments where a type designer tried to apply modern typographic design principles with varied results. As I have created music fonts over the years, the greatest challenge for me was trying to determine a "theme" so to speak for the symbology. There are some glyphs where you can apply common structure, but the symbols are generally different enough that it's difficult to nail down the style, much less determine how to apply it to the smattering of shapes. It's not an easy task, at least for me, though I think I found a way to harmonize the family of glyphs pretty well within each font.
  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,818
    I think even if one were to begin with a single style of 18th or 19th Century lettering and typography, and to apply it consistently, that would be an improvement over the common mix of Fournier-inspired French neo-classical and later, higher contrast romantic types that pervades sheet music.
  • Paul van der LaanPaul van der Laan Posts: 241
    edited June 21
    (replied to wrong thread)
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
    edited June 22
    @John Hudson, I would love to see a more professional take on music font design. There's not a huge market for it, but it could be a fun/challenging effort. It's true, musical symbols have quite the variety of style in most cases.

    Here are a couple of examples I had the chance to collaborate on, one in the style of Akzidenz Grotesk and the other akin to Bodoni. They are both very interesting to me. I love the Bodoni style's calligraphic presence, but both are questionably harder to read than a typical music font style, such as those used in Finale, Dorico, etc. The utility of music fonts is paramount as they are more like an instruction manual and need to be easily discernable.

    Anyway, enjoy! These were fun to work on.

  • John HudsonJohn Hudson Posts: 2,818
    What software produced that musical output? Have you used Lilypond?
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 262
    Yes, Lilypond is my preferred music engraving software and what I used for these. I had to develop custom processing code in order to properly use the Bodoni-style font since the noteheads are not symmetric like normal notes.
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