Type design critiques should cost some money

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  • Well charging should always be an option for anybody, but nobody is being forced to help... And I doubt that most people looking for critique [think they] can afford to pay for it. Beyond a certain point of refinement though it is indeed generally unreasonable to expect free help.
  • Just practically speaking, how would it work? Typedrawers would need some kind of transaction platform built-in, or at the very least, somebody keeping a spreadsheet and dealing with paypal transactions.
    Then, who would get paid? The people who give the best feedback? Who decides which feedback is the best? Because as of now, there is no bar for who can reply to critique threads (nor should there be, IMO).

    Indeed, people are free to charge a fee for type design critiques (and I know of several who do), but this is an online forum where people can take and leave a penny if they so please. Experts are under no obligation to help beginners, but many do anyway. I don't really see why this would be a problem.
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 659
    This is true in theory, but in practice I can't see it applied. All the most important pieces of any critique we offer are available burried in the board, one has to only use the search option to find them, glyph by glyph.
  • Alex VisiAlex Visi Posts: 132
    Nobody is forced to volunteer and anyone can get payed in private if someone finds it valuable enough to pay. So what is the problem? :smile:
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 272
    What about those people who are producing free fonts, are they still expected to pay for a design critique ?
  • Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic Posts: 113
    This is an interesting question. I feel that type design critiques here are not very extensive and complete, which is perfectly reasonable. A few people just notice the biggest obvious issues, maybe further explanation, links, reading etc. No particular "responsibility", not much time required.

    But I really needed a thorough type design critique, and I was interested to pay a reasonable price. These days for example I would be willing to pay for font engineering "diagnostic" pointing to possible issues. 

    BTW, if anyone can give here a ballpark for such a type-tech diagnosis that would be interesting to hear.
  • What about those people who are producing free fonts, are they still expected to pay for a design critique ?
    They pay double.  ;-)
  • if anyone can give here a ballpark for such a type-tech diagnosis that would be interesting to hear.
    For max-detail critiques (of Armenian) I've charged anywhere from $40/hr for a fellow indie to $100/hr for a megacorporation.
  • Paul MillerPaul Miller Posts: 272
    What about those people who are producing free fonts, are they still expected to pay for a design critique ?
    They pay double.  ;-)

    Why ?
  • Perhaps TypeDrawers could compile a list of people who were willing to do in-depth professional critiques (ideally with rates posted), while leaving the Type Design Critique forum free.

    The free TDC forum is awesome, but for someone who really wants to learn faster and more efficiently, it might make sense to pay a pro for their time, and I don't see why TypeDrawers couldn't help with both!
  • Encouraging people to donate to typedrawers is fine. Making it a requirement to post a critique thread is a solution to a nonproblem (being that James feels slighted by other people giving good feedback to beginners for some reason), which will only serve to make good feedback harder to obtain for low-income people.
  • Paul Miller said:
    Why ?
    Well do note the semicolon in that smiley :-) but since free fonts lower value-perception think of it as a sort of a tax?  ;-)
  • Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic Posts: 113
    if anyone can give here a ballpark for such a type-tech diagnosis that would be interesting to hear.
    For max-detail critiques (of Armenian) I've charged anywhere from $40/hr for a fellow indie to $100/hr for a megacorporation.
    Thanks for the clear answer!
  • My bad, putting “donation” in quotation marks made it look like anything but that. Anyway, off to go **** myself. Have a good one!
  • Vasil StanevVasil Stanev Posts: 659
    edited June 11
    Whoa whoa. Better ******* ourselves with expensive wines and dishes from the money we got from consulting and work. :) Like any relatively big online community, I know that TD is used to give and receive work, it just happens through mostly the PM system. I would definitely pay for type coding, God knows I get a lot of broken fonts. I consider payment a preventive measure against devaluing of expertise, which sadly is what's happening with libre fonts and with new releases generally - a race to the bottom. When people pay for services, they tend to respect the person that provides them, and are more prone to suggest them to friends, companies and aquaintances. Bargaining is harmful and degrading at a lower level (but of course is part of the game at the higher ones).
    I suggest that it is written somewhere on the Critiques section that "Entry fee for type design critique is $15", paid for the maintenance of the board. This is just so that your post is approved for review. Then type professionals can review the font and suggest edits to a certain degree. For more in-depth stuff, every member should have a price list - this much for coding, this much for fine-tuning and Bezier grooming, and a hefty fee for disclosing documents that help the job, for example the InDesign file that I use for kerning. It is also occuring to me now that some of this work should be protected by law and software locks, which will also open more revenew for lawyers and programmers. See how higher prices uplift everything?
    This should be done in a  spirit of mutual respect between professionals and clients, and between professionals and professionals. Toilet talk is unnecessary.

    What do type professionals have besides expertise that you can't bargain and develaue? Their network, knowing the right man or woman for the job, knowing lawyers, knowing how to write an EULA, knowing good programmers that write clean code, having worked with that person and having first-hand experience, this includes knowing which peope to avoid. Type design is at the junktion of law, coding, graphic design, teaching, and also some administrative tasks like finding room for participants in conferences and so on. People who know to do it well should be rewarded nicely. And people who want to go into it should have a incentive.

    I return again to my architecture analogy. Remember how difficult it seemed to do a simple job like combine images to print for a birthday party or a school t-shirt? Now imagine you need a cadastral plan for your office building. Do you go to the lowest bidder and do you tell them they should do the plan for free, because pushing pencils is not as hard as roofing in July, which you used to do? The answer is quite obvious. I am with Hrant on the $40-100 price range. One should consider that companies look at you as a write-off, so the $100 hourly fee is not simply transferred to your account and lost. This is US law territory that I don't have enough knowledge to comment on.
  • Paul HanslowPaul Hanslow Posts: 84
    (being that James feels slighted by other people giving good feedback to beginners for some reason)
    I'm just trying to maximize revenue for Typedrawers. I never said it should be a requirement. Do you understand what "donation" means? If you think I have another motivation you can go ******** yourself. In fact why don't you do that anyway.

    @James Montalbano, please be civil on TypeDrawers and try to refrain from curt, cutting remarks directed at others. 
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    edited June 11
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  • Yves MichelYves Michel Posts: 47
    Paul Miller said:
    Why ?
    ... free fonts lower value-perception...
    If I understand well your meaning the value of a font is in the price you pay to use it.
    As a creator (as a hobby) of fonts free for personal use, I'm happy to offer them to small businesses who ask. The value is in the fact they want to use them.
    Expensive is not a synonym for valuable and free doesn't mean bad.
    But maybe I misunderstood?
  • @Yves Michel It's certainly true that cost is not fully correlated to quality or usefulness. Prime example:
    https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/jha/bodoni-ritalic/
    Also, some fonts –especially for under-served writing systems– should be free.

    The value of a font is the price you pay for it plus what it does. The value of typeface design is more complicated... And competition (here against free things) is a human reality. Also, what makes an individual happy is not strongly correlated with what society needs.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,122
    I think there are a variety of propositions here:

    Critiques should be
    • optional donation / must always be paid for
    for
    • all critiquers / those who opt in / anyone who does not opt out < obviously if it is always paid for, it is also all critiquers
    and the money goes to:
    • TypeDrawers / the critique giver /choice of critiquer

    Given shifting ideas even from a single person, and the fact that usually not all of these issues are specifically addressed in a given comment, I really don’t feel like I have a clear sense of exactly which version is favored, for most individual commenters. Let alone any consensus. But there are many possible configurations.

    For my part, I would favor:
    - optional donation
    - (ok with any of these as the donation is optional in the first place)
    - either TypeDrawers OR critiquer’s choice
  • Surely that's a mistake. I'll admit that I've thought about pricing type so outrageously expensive in the hope that one company would pick it up as a more or less exclusive typeface. Never had the balls though ;)
  • @Jasper de Waard Not a mistake. But FYI it was sold at 99% off when it launched. :-)  So if it's some form of social commentary, I actually appreciate it!

    BTW:

  • To add to the discussion, as it stands, there are more or less two kinds of feedback:
    1. Free of charge, relatively superficial public feedback on a forum like TD
    2. Paid, in-depth feedback on a one-on-one basis.

    The sad thing is that the second kind only benefits the person who paid for it, while I could imagine that many people could learn from seeing such feedback, even related to someone else's work.

    Perhaps TD could be a place where paid feedback is made public (obviously with consent), so that everyone can benefit from it?
  • Just one thing: initial feedback is not necessarily superficial, in fact it's more likely to point out fundamental issues before it's too late (like messed-up vertical proportions).
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,122
    It’s not superficial, but it is easier to give. For me at least.
This discussion has been closed.