Have any designers derived any benefit from being featured on MyFonts Free Font Friday?
One of my families; Remora Sans, is pretty extensive with 5 Medium Italics which are free. When I produced the family I foolishly thought that giving some fonts away for free would be a good incentive for users to buy the uprights. However, on 1st of February MyFonts featured it on FFF, and I was suddenly inundated with downloads for the freebies; nearly 5.5 thousand so far. I thought this would propel Remora Sans straight to the top of the 50 best sellers, and users might actually start *buying* the fonts, but it doesn't even feature. I have had one buyer who bought one upright. It seems Best sellers are based on sales but not downloads.
I don't know if it's coincidence, but this is the worst month ever for sales of fonts at MF.
I think FFF does more harm than good, as there are people who are just eager to get any free fonts every Friday and fewer users are willing to buy fonts as they have been devalued so much.
Needless to say I won't be giving any away in the future as I can't see any benefit from doing so. What do Monotype gain from pushing freebies and hugely discounted stuff? If type designers find it hard to make a living producing quality fonts which take a huge amount of time for little return I'm sure many will just give up and do something else. I know millennials think it's great to work for peanuts and get everything for free, but that doesn't help any economy long-term. I don't understand the business model of Monotype.
With a promotion like FFF, the free font is the reason to visit MyFonts. So it's unlikely anyone has a particular use in mind therefore it's unlikely that a followup sale will occur in the same month. The free font someone downloaded and installed will be among the choices they'll consider for future projects. The customer's font folder is a roulette wheel and it might take a lot of spins before they land on yours. Maybe they use your font in a draft, the client gets used to it and one day they'll need bold, italic (upright in your case) or more. Being in the customer's font folder increases familiarity with the name. That's potentially 5000 people who will see the name of your typeface every time they spin through their font collection.
I wish I had more direct insight about FFF but they never choose mine.
The whole things just screams "learn some other skill set" to me. I put a lot of effort into becoming a type designer but to be repeatedly frustrated by MF, pirates and so on seems like a lesson that will be repeated until it is learned. Maybe it's just a dying industry. Certainly not a pleasing concept for what I think I was born to do, but lotsa things are going away and being devalued, from books and reporters to non-technical design skills. On the other hand, programmers seems to still enjoy the awe cloacking their profession, while designers and artist have pretty much lost it. People think that since talent is god-given, this automatically means everything a talented person does should be free. There is no pushing that claim.
I have been thinking a lot about the jobs of the future, recently. Technology will make the future cheaper, we will not starve because there are no good type sales - but perhaps 800 mil people will be raised out of poverty in the next 10 to 15 years due to technology. What will happen when they decide they were always meant to be of a creative profession? With the glass already pretty empty?
Maybe only engeneering and technical jobs will be the high-paid jobs of the future. I do not see nurses, butchers, translators and "influencers" doing that well (by this I mean many professions have hit their cealing, and from the "new tech" ones, well, everybody's doing a startup, it's always unbelieavble and unbeatable, and then most fail. Crowdpooling translators seems to be a thing, too).
And one final thing. People do not seem to regard owning and selling as the same process as 20 years ago. Much products are in such abundance and so easily available, via Amazon, drones etc., that everybody got lazy and content. Owning a font seems even more unreasonable to many than it seemed before. What's the use of buying a font if somebody will put out something similar and just that good for half the price or free next week? I don't think designer are the ones who buy fonts the most. In actuallity they are the ones best informed where to get resources for free.
It doesn’t appear to generate any sales for the rest of the typeface family of which it is a member.
However, I do believe its presence is a form of publicity for the Shinntype brand, and my best sellers do keep selling steadily.
That’s the way Free works on the internet.
(Chris Anderson’s explanations of “Free” in 2009 were a benchmark for my understanding of the internet and ecommerce, clarifying in writing what I had sensed about the phenomenon.)
My advice for people who are worried about this oversaturation/devaluation: Learn Chinese. Or at least, gather 10 of your type friends and learn how to make Chinese fonts.
Once it is commonplace, it doesn’t help so much. I suspect trial fonts probably do not increase the amount being spent on fonts, so if everybody does it, it does not give anyone an advantage.
Something like Typekit may significantly change the size of the pie (total amount of money being spent on fonts)—although whether larger or smaller is another question. But I don’t expect trial fonts to have that kind of effect.
I don’t do much to publicize my designs. At any rate, Beaufort keeps on selling—most of my sales are from typefaces that came out in the early days of ecommerce, and became established. Getting your foot in the door is the trick, and that’s a complicated mix of font concept and execution, and foundry and distributor pricing, branding and marketing.
<a href="https://youtu.be/E7FMiyXjBYc?list=PLTRdhgOnLqbMKfIATXL3UZp9tuK4s98pY&t=810" title="Link: https://youtu.be/E7FMiyXjBYc?list=PLTRdhgOnLqbMKfIATXL3UZp9tuK4s98pY&t=810">https://youtu.be/E7FMiyXjBYc?list=PLTRdhgOnLqbMKfIATXL3UZp9tuK4s98pY&t=810</a>
If you look at where growth is happening in the world (both population and economic), and figure that English is not widely spoken in China, and the fact that there don't appear to be any US/European-based companies that seem to be specializing in this, seems like a legitimate strategy to me. I was being funny in the delivery, but my assessment is completely serious. Could be a huge opportunity.
@Matthew Smith Ah yes, I forgot about their font rental trial periods. Those are nice since the font isn't stored locally on someone's computer. I'm really surprised that folks trust their fellow human beings enough to give them actual downloadable "trial" font files.