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  • Would you decline offer from Monotype? But speak honestly.

    You'd still have your own skills to make fonts after acquisition.
  • There can be only one.
  • Considering the brand's cachet, I'm sure that Monotype's acquisition cost them at least seven figures, if not more. That's a mighty tidy retirement nest egg there.
  • kupferskupfers Posts: 257
    @Matthew Smith This is exactly what is in these take-over contracts usually: absolutely don’t tell your employees! And no one is allowed to ever talk about any of this.
  • kupferskupfers Posts: 257
    @JoyceKetterer Maybe that was exactly the idea, to make Hoefler & Co as an entity disappear. We sure can make up some reasons why.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 554
    edited September 16
    @kupfers I know better men who have no shame.  I can't imagine that the man who did the things we know he did would want to disappear his legacy.  I think that either he's dying and this is actually his wife's choice or that he thinks the industry is about to go under and so it doesn't matter.  I'm certain he could have found other buyers who'd have paid less up front but given him royalties and retained the brand. Greed isn't even a good explanation because with taxes there's a chance that could have been a better deal over time (especially given that his estate would still get the royalties).  
  • John ButlerJohn Butler Posts: 7
    edited September 16
    From the press release, emphasis mine:

    “Nothing’s changing at typography.com, where you’ll still find all 1,113 fonts in the Hoefler&Co library, as well as the cloud.typography webfont service, and all the other resources we’ve created for designers and brands. The H&Co team is staying in place, too, and there are yet more typefaces from us that you can look forward to seeing soon.”

    Occam’s Razor would suggest that based on his track record, Jonathan did not suddenly stop knowing his ass from a hole in the wall. He employs hard-working resourceful people who can land comfortably pretty much anywhere (let the poaching begin!) if they choose to leave.

    As for Google Fonts, if they’re to buy out anything, I wish it would be the thing calling itself Berthold.
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 113
    Because it brings customers with it, the name and much of the infrastructure may be preserved, though probably as if in amber. Monopotype isn't going to rush to create anything to replace it. After all, some vital functions of MyFonts are still being handled through "the old site" which is not just from before they bought it but from before the previous owners bought it.
  • Joyce, I’m not informed enough to wager on any particular outcome. If I were forced to wager, I’d ask what became of Linotype’s operation in Germany—how many people are left, is there still a physical office in Bad Homburg with paid employees, etc, and extrapolate that fate to H&Co in however many years. I do imagine that SoHo real estate remains expensive, DiBlasification notwithstanding.
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 113
    @JoyceKetterer Oh yeah, my reply was within minutes of John's, and I too am definitely too cynical to believe they'll keep any of the "team" longer than a quarter. But when all they have to do is copy all the fonts to their other platforms, I figure it's the more masks the merrier, and the Hoefler site will appear the same indefinitely.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 554
    edited September 16
    @John Butler I was getting at that when I meantioned Helvetica (designed by linotype). I was wrong about Arial and removed that from the post. But also, we're talking about the same entity that put out a press release asserting that Tobias FJ had always been an employee and no one ever had any reason to think otherwise.  If the statements in this press release turn out to be true it will be an accident.  Does anyone believe the sale requires monotype to protect the brand, ui and staff?
  • @kpease... There's a way in which that's worse.  But we shall see 
  • Ralph SmithRalph Smith Posts: 30
    edited September 16
    Anybody remember what happened to the FontFont brand after the Monotype purchase?
  • Still exists. https://www.fontshop.com/foundries/fontfont

    Mind you, there is plenty of indication of slowdown. Several years after the MT acquisition (2017, following acquisition in 2014) the FontShop blog still had a couple of posts a month.

    Now they have had three blog posts in the past two years.
  • @JoyceKetterer it’s possible that he’s Jonathan just wants to move on. Maybe he just wants to relax for the rest of his life and not have to think about an albatross until he dies.
  • kupferskupfers Posts: 257
    Helvetica (designed by linotype)

    Well that’s one way to put it :)

    In a way, mergers and acquisitions have always been happening plenty in type, much more in metal times than today. I’m wondering if there are any records of what the competitors and workers, or designers, at the time thought of those. @Dan Reynolds, did you come across anything maybe? 

  • Dan ReynoldsDan Reynolds Posts: 142
    edited September 17
    Alas, I haven’t. But employees’ personal views were rarely recorded in those days.

    Anecdotally, I only heard one story (from the other side of an acquisition) which happened more recently than the metal type days: At least some of the people who worked at Linotype in the late 1980s were very disappointed when Linotype merged with Hell in 1989, because Linotype had been much more profitable than Hell. Some of what I heard may have just been anger in hindsight, though, since Linotype-Hell failed a few years later and of course the employees did not want to have experienced that.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 554
    edited September 17
    @James Puckett Albatros?  That word implies a failing company.  Do you know something I don't about Heofler and Co?  Even if it was failing, I've already explained why I don't think waiting to retire specificly addresses selling to MONOTYPE.  I am certain he had other options to sell that would have been better in most ways except, perhaps, the up front dollar figure.
  • Dusan JelesijevicDusan Jelesijevic Posts: 51
    edited September 17
    If I may say, from my opinion, you are missing one basic point here – it's his company. He can obviously sell it to anyone he wants, he can burn it to the ground or give all the fonts for free. From ethical side, Monotype or Google (Fonts), what's the difference really? Monotype is monopolist in one kind of market, while Google is a far more complicated and it's in everyone's life already (in your car, in your house, in your HDD, in your cards, banks, knows your (Iron) maiden's name, phone number...). They all generated capital and they can have (if both sides agree) for money any smaller "rival". Just like it's in any other markets... Mars, Proctor & Gamble, Unilever.
  • When Monotype was  publicly traded company, before October 2019, much of the positive position on its balance sheet was in “goodwill.” Investopedia defines goodwill thus:

    Goodwill is an intangible asset that is associated with the purchase of one company by another. Specifically, goodwill is the portion of the purchase price that is higher than the sum of the net fair value of all of the assets purchased in the acquisition and the liabilities assumed in the process. The value of a company’s brand name, solid customer base . . . and proprietary technology represent some reasons why goodwill exists.

    It is, in some regards, an accounting sleight of hand. What this meant for Monotype was that it had to survive like a shark, feeding itself by acquiring more goodwill (i.e., companies) every year or so. After Monotype was acquired by HGGC, a mid-range private equity firm, it continued the practice—last year it acquired URW—which would indicate that sales of licenses and custom services (and other savings such as layoffs) were insufficient to show sufficient profitability for a company purchased on debt. So now it's Hoefler & Co. (He’s a smart guy and I’m sure he did well.) How many sizeable fish are left? Morisawa, perhaps?

    From my point of view, Monotype is in a kind of straightjacket. I’m sure they know their retail sales and marketing apparatus is deplorable and ineffectual, but to undertake a remake might cost more than they can justify on slender sales in such an insanely overpopulated market. They have a new CEO, who comes from the travel industry, which makes me wonder if they have the expertise to see their way clear. It wouldn’t surprise me if Amazon (not Google) became the buyer of last resort. Ouch!

    Sorry to be so depressing!


  • Now might be a good time to recommend anyone stuck in a slave state that enforces non-compete clauses simply move to a right-to-work state that doesn’t.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 554
    edited September 17
    PS - I didn't meant to imply that the only choices currently are Monotype and Google fonts, or even that Google fonts is always a choice.  I was trying to describe a "doomsday scenario" where those were my only choices and then say essentially "I'd rather make the fonts libre with Google fonts for some money than take a big payout and have it go to Monotype".  In both cases the brand would die but the Google scenario would be more on my terms.

    I also was trying to clearly say that I think there currently are a lot of other potential options for a company like Hoefler was, especially if the seller is willing to reduce up front compensation in exchange for continuing royalties.  

  • I’m not even in the font business, but I must say that my opinion of many of Hoefler’s typefaces fell considerably in 2014 when H&FJ was "rebranded".
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