Clear Sans

Jimmy OfisiaJimmy Ofisia Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Type Business
Today I came across Clear Sans, an open source typeface by Intel. So, I'm just curious, does anyone here know who designed it? Because I'm pretty sure it is not Neil Summerour.

PS: I'm posting this in the 'Business' category after the naming issue.


  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 992
    edited March 2014
    Intel’s Clear Sans is a pick in Typographica’s upcoming Favorites of 2013 . Since there is no design credit given on the Clear Sans website other than a mention of Monotype, I asked MT Type Director Dan Rhatigan for more info. He says they began with an unpublished design by Robin Nicholas which Rhatigan and George Ryan then reworked for Intel. 

    I believe the naming overlap is an unfortunate coincidence. (Kinda surprising the name hadn’t been used until now.) My hunch is that Monotype’s family was produced and in use before Neil’s, but Neil was likely unaware that it existed since it was a proprietary design and not publicly promoted until later.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,347
    edited March 2014
    Neil didn't do his research - Clear Sans was released by Intel and shipping in Mozilla FirefoxOS before he launched his version.

    The name sounds very generic to me, and to be a valid trademark you can't be too generic (I'm not a lawyer, this is not advice) so its not that surprising no one else used it before.

    Neil made a trademark registration application a few months ago, I wonder if it will be granted...
  • @DaveCrossland‌ it's unfortunate and a bit short-sighted that you would jump to a conclusion that the little guy didn't do his research. In actuality, the opposite was the case with research into the name beginning over the summer of 2013. Beta testers and a group of very trusted type friends had access to this typeface, its name and my intent behind it as early as September. No one threw up a red flag with the name (and these are very adept typophiles and technology-aware people that I trust implicitly). MyFonts actually had the final version of my Clear Sans in October as I asked them to generate webfonts for my use in the specimen minisite. USPTO searches, internet searches, braintrust searches yielded nothing to negate the use of the name. Your right, after double checking with my ‘font attorney’ to check one more time, nothing showed up and I moved to copyright the code of the family and register the trademark… normal practice as I have learned my lesson over the years.

    Stephen is right, it's unfortunate timing, but I'm comfortable in my process until I learn something different. I never want to be seen as an opportunistic type idiot and very conscientiously follow my process to choose a name to fit the face. As it is, especially with the circumstances surrounding these two typefaces, it's a gray area that I wish didn't exist.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 2,098
    Given that ITC Clearface® (serif and gothic) and ClearviewHwy® (sans) are well established, naming a face “Clear” seems a dubious proposition.
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,956
    Isn't “clear sans” a descriptive name and thus ineligible for trademark protection?
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  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,347
    @Neil Summerour‌ Cool to see you on this board!! :) I apologies that I sounded shrill.

    Mozilla started discussing using Intel's font in spring 2013 - - which predates all your research, and Intel announced it on their blog in June - - but I don't want to be unsympathetic. Its not a good situation.

    Fortunately, @vernon adams‌ is saving the day, because he's actively working on a renamed version - - and I've requested that Mozilla switch to that -
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