Hi, I'm Laurensius
, beginner in type design, haven't sold my first font yet. I'm currently doing research about type licensing and pricing.
To summarize Dinamo's licensing, the client is the license owner.
So if a designer creates brand identity for a brand/company, designer bought the license for their client, and the designer only work with the font for the clients — unless you're your own client (self initiated/personal projects). Pricing in this model is based on the client size, quoting Dinamo
: "Our fonts are priced based solely on on the company size of the font’s license owner. Not the number of people working with the font files." (note: for social media license, it's based on the company's social media followers count). I'm calling this "font as material" licensing,
because designer buys fonts for each client project.
It's like a house builder buys bricks, cement, and
paints every time they build a new house.
In the old/common licensing model, the license owner is the designer.
I think everyone's familiar with this. This licensing model comes from metal and wood type era, where type is a tool. Typesetter (or designer) bought the metal/wood type from foundries and they can use the "tool" indefinitely to create type on paper that people can reads. I think this mindset carries to digital type era that introduces what I called "font as tool" licensing
. The pricing based on how many computer installation, or website page views. The designer buy once to install and can use the fonts indefinitely for many clients, except for website/apps.
Now, I'm leaning towards Dinamo's model. It makes a lot of sense. If you haven't read above, here's the link again https://abcdinamo.com/news/about-our-pricing
. It's easier to buys a license with simplified metrics, designer doesn't have to pay for fonts — the client pays, and (my guess) type designers makes more money.
There's a few disadvantages I can think as of now. First, I think it will be hard for people to get familiar with the new model. Imagine having 2 fonts in your computer and that have 2 different usage rules. Second, I can't sell unfinished typefaces like on Future Fonts
. If you're not familiar with Future Fonts, you can buy unfinished/in-progress typeface on discounted price (because you're early supporter/tester) and add them to your "tool" box, then you get free updates as the type family grows in glyphs, weights, styles, and increases in price. I don't know how this could work in "font as material" licensing. Third, usually there's a need to provide trial fonts for designer which can be abused. Lastly, you can't sell typeface in bundles (50 fonts for $99!) — but I'm against this anyways.
So, what do you think about font as a tool vs material?
Do you think the industry should move to the "font as material" (value-based) pricing/licensing?