Fontstand launches

Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,052
edited May 2015 in Type Business
At TypoBerlin a new font sales channel has been announced, initially aimed at desktop licensing, with many of the top independent foundries involved:

https://fontstand.com

The FS initials seems to me a bit of an inside joke, following the acquisition of FontShop last year in a way that many type designers were very unhappy about.

The Fontstand pricing model offers users to license the font for 1 month at 10% of the unlimited time usage license, and if users renew the monthly license for 12 months then it becomes an unlimited usage license (thus paying 20% more than an unlimited license costs up front.) 

This contrasts with Spotify-like continuous monthly licensing; paying continuously makes sense for web font services, since the service has to be running continuously too, but for desktop fonts the case seems less clearcut.

It also contrasts with classic unlimited-time licensing, which is unattractive for users who only want to use a type family for a brief time. 
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Comments

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,656
    Best of luck to Peter and Andrej!
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,052
    I wonder if this will lead to a new web font service. Peter has offered the tech behind his own to 3rd parties for years...
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 769
    Every indication is that Fontstand’s goal is to offer a licensing model that foundries don’t already offer. I don’t see a web font service as part of that mission. Nearly all the foundries already license webfonts in one way or another.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,444
    Always good to see foundries coming up with new distribution methods.
  • It is nice to see a desktop font renting service.  It is more like a leasing I think.
    It really seems to be a good choice for designers; you can rent the font for a month and present the alternative to the client.  If the client signed with you, he will buy font.

  • edited May 2015
    Not very similar. It’s seems to be only their own fonts? Plus the free google-stuff perhaps? This makes it quite different from Fontstand.
  • Dave CrosslandDave Crossland Posts: 1,052
    It's another new font manager app used as a sales channel. Also they are only taking a 25% distribution fee.

    If they adopt a rental sales model and scoop up all the foundries excluded from fontstand, I guess they could offer higher volume and offer independent designers a more serious leverage over distributors who take a higher cut.

    I wonder of FontSpring and FontBros will offer similar app channels
  • Dan ReynoldsDan Reynolds Posts: 128
    Back when FontExplorer X launched as a free MacOS X app, you could buy & install fonts with it. I don’t remember how many foundries signed-up with Linotype or Monotype to take advantage of that possibility, though.

    I was pleased to see Fontstand launch with 21 foundries already available through the app. 
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 769
    edited May 2015
    Fontyou will have to significantly improve their communications (English writing, design, explanation, strategy) if they want to recruit many foundries of merit.
  • Jackson CavanaughJackson Cavanaugh Posts: 539
    edited May 2015
    Not very similar. It’s seems to be only their own fonts? Plus the free google-stuff perhaps? This makes it quite different from Fontstand.

    One of the images they're showing includes one of my typefaces...
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,656
    One of the images they're showing includes one of my typefaces...

    Because it’s for both managing the users’ font collection and accessing whatever Font You is selling. I’m not sure if that’s attractive or not. Back when font files were prone to inexplicable corruption it would have made sense to just clear the local files and reload from a remote server, but does that still matter?

    I don’t see how FontYou expects to build this with only €25,000. Unless most of the work is already done and they just need the money to launch. Like Stewf said, they need to work on communication.
  • Curious how many EULAs allow users to upload fonts to remote third-party servers.
  • kupferskupfers Posts: 246
    Stephen, I know you don’t mean to sound this imperialistic.
  • One of the images they're showing includes one of my typefaces...

    Aha, you are in this? Sorry did not see that.
  • It's just the Hische book cover under the 'inspiration' section. Still it's misleading. 
  • Like Stewf said, they need to work on communication.

    I read again and tried hard to understand what they want...

    Do they want people to pay them to build this tool where the users later can buy their fonts? I mean if that works, it’s kind of amazing.


  • Why Kickstarter? Because we think that it’s the best place to bring together creativity, passion, ambition and trust as part of a worldwide community of enthusiasts.


    Pretty sure they don't need the money. http://www.adhugger.net/2014/06/09/fontyou-promotes-typography-with-a-platform-dedicated-to-typelovers/
  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,656
    Pretty sure they don't need the money.

    That explains why they’re only asking for €25,000 on Kickstarter. It’s just a stunt.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 769
    edited May 2015
    Stephen, I know you don’t mean to sound this imperialistic.
    Ouch. If I sound that way it is unintentional. It’s not so much about English copywriting, (though they could ask an English speaker to help). My point is that Fontyou’s concept is difficult to understand and could be communicated much more clearly.

    That’s one of the reasons Fontstand is so appealing: it’s quite obvious what it does and why it’s useful. That clarity comes not only from the simplicity of the product, but in the way it is presented.
  • Try a font for free for one hour. Convert to outlines. Have it forever. How is this different from that MyFonts service all of you freaked out about last year?

    Just asking'.
  • Ale PaulAle Paul Posts: 28
    edited May 2015
    I love Peter Bilak and his vision about type. But I think the Fontstand model only works for editorial use. My clients are usually one-time users for a specific design project like a logo for a packaging, some display design, a t-shirt or whatever you can imagine then its very easy to create outlines in 1 hour use-test and depart to a customised design. And in case they just use it legally its very cheap for a logo design using basically a font as it is for the 10% of the price.

    Maybe the prices of the foundries affiliated at Fontstand right now are on the expensive side of the current average price and losing market against the 90% being offered (a real issue these days for everyone)? In my case a display font offered a 10% of the price could produce the same damage that this kind of discounts.

    Some foundries there are not offering the display fonts of their catalogues and some others like House are only offering the PLINC stuff that was conceived to be offered first a different model too and not sure if it worked.

    Just saying.
  • attarattar Posts: 209
    edited May 2015
    > Try a font for free for one hour. Convert to outlines. Have it forever. How is this different from that MyFonts service all of you freaked out about last year?

    There are many ways to get a font you don’t own, webfont rip etc etc. In the end pirates are pirates, you want to make things as convenient as possible for people who will actually buy your font because most pirates don’t want to buy anyway so most of them will use another font they can find if they can’t pirate yours, etc.

    It’s the same debate in the video games industry: some publishers add very invasive copy protection to their games – in the end these games are still on torrents and only the legit buyers are damaged.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 769
    edited May 2015
    I subscribe to Adrien’s view and I think most foundries are coming around to it too. Ale, as you know, all your fonts can already be obtained for free by those who will never pay even $79. I believe making your fonts easier to access has no impact on those pirates and collectors, it only helps improve the chances that responsible customers use and buy your stuff.

    Though, for your users, that may require more explicit language in the Fontstand agreement that any published commercial work requires a full license, and that may be contrary to the Fontstand concept.

    And I do agree that your users differ from those of many foundries in the ’stand. Along with that, a Sudtipos script is different than a multi-weight family. Your $79-per-style pricing is the same as many pro foundries, but your users generally only need the one font, whereas the standard use of a multi-weight text or display family requires at least 2–3 styles, so the barrier for entry is usually at least $150 and often around $500–1000.
  • Try a font for free for one hour. Convert to outlines. Have it forever. How is this different from that MyFonts service all of you freaked out about last year?

    First: the free trial fonts in Fontstand don’t contain the letter F and f.

    Second: convert to outlines loses all spacing, kerning, hinting, and OT feature data. Not so attractive in my book.

  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 769
    edited May 2015
    Paul, these are all important for most typefaces, but for Ale’s scripts the outline will almost always do the job. He has a point that the current Fontstand solution isn’t ideal for his particular product.
  • Stephen, my post was aimed at James M.

    I understand Ale’s point of view that for his typefaces Fontstand might not be an ideal model. I don’t argue with that.
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 769
    Oops! I misattributed the quoted text! Thanks for correcting.
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