Hoefler&Co sold to Monotype

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Comments

  • edited September 2021
    It's right in the name: Mono-type! The plan is clear.
    In all seriousness, we are fast approaching a world in which Monotype controls the terms of the vast majority of commercial fonts (and with that the effective model for ultimately licensing them). Everyone else is a small outfit, Adobe Originals or releasing libre fonts instead.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 678
    edited September 2021
    @Daniel Benjamin Miller I don't agree.  There's not a single monotype font available on the Adobe Creative Cloud anymore, I don't think.  To the extend there ever was it was not their hits.  I credit that bad decision on their part with the rapid success of our Halyard (which broke even on cost this month after only 4 years!)

    Halyard isn't the only big hit font on Adobe CC but more to the point, if you were right then Adobe would have no choice but to agree to whatever exploitive terms Monotype wanted.  To the contrary, Adobe Fonts is thriving without Monotype.  

    Big companies take a very long time to fail but make no mistake, monotype is a mess.  Possibly a saveable mess, but right now I'd guess it's a coin toss.
  • @JoyceKetterer I just checked — there are actually some Monotype fonts available on Adobe Fonts ¦ https://fonts.adobe.com/search/fonts?page=1&query=monotype + some FontFont assets ¦ https://fonts.adobe.com/search/fonts?query=fontfont ; the type market is surely quick shaken right now, but Monotype, Adobe and Google are rivals, partners and non-rivals all in the same time, it seems.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 678
    edited September 2021
    @Frank Adebiaye thanks for checking.  I agree that monotype thinks Adobe is a rival.  But they're wrong. 

    The vast majority of our major sales are from customers who initially found the fonts on Adobe.  

    Monotype's model, of course is to be a one stop vendor for large companies (which is why they don't like what I just said about Adobe).  I've been in fonts 15 years and I definitely have seen a shift on that.  There was a time when accounting departments would resist adding a "new font vendor" because monotype had succeed in making them think fonts where like paper clips and they only needed one vendor.  That doesn’t happen now, quite the opposite. 
  • H&Co purchase aside, what I don't understand about Monotype's operations is how they have not yet run into serious problems with antitrust law. Surely owning something like 90% (wild guess, would love to hear a more educated number) of an industry must make it hard not to be, euhm... price fixing, subverting competition and just generally running a monopoly.
  • jeremy tribbyjeremy tribby Posts: 113
    edited September 2021
    H&Co purchase aside, what I don't understand about Monotype's operations is how they have not yet run into serious problems with antitrust law. Surely owning something like 90% (wild guess, would love to hear a more educated number) of an industry must make it hard not to be, euhm... price fixing, subverting competition and just generally running a monopoly.
    at least in the US, antitrust laws are there to protect consumers, not competitors. I'm not a lawyer but can only guess monotype would successfully argue (and this honestly wouldn't even get to the step of arguments - font-related antitrust actions would never happen proactively on behalf of government, and no individual with perceived standing would want to risk paying monotype's legal bills if their lawsuit were quickly dismissed) that consumers not only have tons of choice, but that monotype is one of the smaller (and more expensive-to-consumers) players. HGGC's $4bn worth of managed assets is quaint compared to, say, google's $1 trillion+ market cap, or adobe's $300bn. hypothetically, even if they did get into the territory where some action were taken against them and they were slapped with more than a fine, they would just probably just operate all of their brands more wholly independently. you'd hear less about monotype and more about myfonts, hoefler, URW and so on.
  • H&Co purchase aside, what I don't understand about Monotype's operations is how they have not yet run into serious problems with antitrust law. Surely owning something like 90% (wild guess, would love to hear a more educated number) of an industry must make it hard not to be, euhm... price fixing, subverting competition and just generally running a monopoly.

    There are not antitrust issues be Monotype has not harmed consumers or stifled innovation. They’ve created a race to the bottom with steep font discounts which has been great for font buyers. And there are competitors, for example, Monotype had to adopt font bundling to compete with Creative Market.
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 678
    edited September 2021
    Don't underestimate the invisiblity of fonts.   Regulators are unlikely to think of it as its own industry.  They'd either think the industry in question is design/branding or software.  In neither case does monotype get even close to a monopoly. 
  • Well, one thing is for sure. The Walden Font Co. will NEVER EVER BE SOLD. There, I've said it. Now someone please try my resolve  :D  
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 557
    edited June 10
    Wow! I just find out!!!

    That hoefler guy.. holly fuck...!!!!

    - First he becomes the number one font nerd (as a kid).
    - Then he create new version of the badly digitized classics (Franklin, Erbar, Bodoni, Caslon, Century, etc) and since he is a super nerd of course he take care of all the nerdy details that nobody else cares (grades, ornaments, numerlas, size specific cuts.. all the nerd shit) and sell the classic under new names and since they are really well done he stablish herself as the n1 alive font designer... by selling people the same typefaces they already have (the nerdy version of the classics). Genius!!!
    - then he also embrace webfonts and create his own webservice in a super well thinked fashion and implementation (of course. nerds are nerds)
    - Creates a new way to "talk" and to "think" about typefaces (fancy words but having meaning) that makes him different from the rest just by the way he talks.
    - Creates a new way of making specimens online and interactive (by by pdf)

    So far.. a typical nerd like us.. but 1.000.000 billon times more nerd.
    Quite surprising achievent... but nothing really surprising yet...

    but now... but now...

    He stopped being a font nerd and shifted to a bussines nerd!!!!
    doing business like a bussiness nerd instead of doing business like a normal guy!

    Fuck typography! Now Im a business nerd!!!
    1) first he fuck his partner and replace it by young "nodes monkeys" that can do work (extending a family in new styles, language support, etc) but can not create new stuff of the same level (except for the obsidian guy.. that was genius)
    2) Sells the foundry!!!!!

    God level achieved!!!!
    He dresses all formal but he dont fool me... he is a bad ass motherfucker now!!!
    bye bye Nerd !!! I love it!!!

    Now he can take a rest from the office, the computer screen and the nodes!!!

    And in good timing also.. the latest released from the foundry where.. with tobias out of the picture....how to say it... no very much hoefleristics as we come to spect from his foundry. 

    Live goes on... live and let die!
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 986
    My company only exists because Hoefler sued its founder (after firing him) over a font that Hoefler had no legitimate claim to.  

    If that wasn't enough public evidence of how Hoefler treats staff, all the longer time employees were there when Hoefler claimed that the man he had concisely for years called his business partner had always been an employee, again in order to try and steal successful retail fonts.

    Given that, and other indications that Hoefler's firm would not be, in any case, continuing in the future to make such accomplishments as it was acclaimed for in the past, it can't really be viewed as a disaster for the typeface industry that Monotype chose to pay an inflated price for a name and a hollow shell.
    As for Arial, I didn't see whatever error was in a post of yours before it was edited, but I thought "everyone" knew Microsoft bought it from Monotype, which based it on Monotype Grotesque from the hot metal days, just adjusted to have the same spacing as Helvetica so it could be used to prepare documents to be printed in Helvetica on HP LaserJet printers.
    This was back when Monotype didn't own any rights to Helvetica, so it didn't have it to sell.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 557
    edited June 10
    Anybody remember what happened to the FontFont brand after the Monotype purchase?
    Saddly FontFont fonts are dead.. too bad.. they where great designs and technically perfect. Hoefler fonts will be dead in 3 years.. they are well excecuted fonts but mostly classical (boring) designs. They will be dead faster than fontfonts.

    Eric surrender.. hoefler surrender... fuck!
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 557
    edited June 10
    Wow! I just find out!!!

    That hoefler guy.. holly fuck...!!!!

    - First he becomes the number one font nerd (as a kid).
    - Then he create new version of the badly digitized classics (Franklin, Erbar, Bodoni, Caslon, Century, etc) and since he is a super nerd of course he take care of all the nerdy details that nobody else cares (grades, ornaments, numerlas, size specific cuts.. all the nerd shit) and sell the classic under new names and since they are really well done he stablish herself as the n1 alive font designer... by selling people the same typefaces they already have (the nerdy version of the classics). Genius!!!
    - then he also embrace webfonts and create his own webservice in a super well thinked fashion and implementation (of course. nerds are nerds)
    - Creates a new way to "talk" and to "think" about typefaces (fancy words but having meaning) that makes him different from the rest just by the way he talks.
    - Creates a new way of making specimens online and interactive (by by pdf)

    So far.. a typical nerd like us.. but 1.000.000 billon times more nerd.
    Quite surprising achievent... but nothing really surprising yet...

    but now... but now...

    He stopped being a font nerd and shifted to a bussines nerd!!!!
    doing business like a bussiness nerd instead of doing business like a normal guy!

    Fuck typography! Now Im a business nerd!!!
    1) first he fuck his partner and replace it by young "nodes monkeys" that can do work (extending a family in new styles, language support, etc) but can not create new stuff of the same level (except for the obsidian guy.. that was genius)
    2) Sells the foundry!!!!!

    God level achieved!!!!
    He dresses all formal but he dont fool me... he is a bad ass motherfucker now!!!
    bye bye Nerd !!! I love it!!!

    Now he can take a rest from the office, the computer screen and the nodes!!!

    And in good timing also.. the latest released from the foundry where.. with tobias out of the picture....how to say it... no very much hoefleristics as we come to spect from his foundry. 

    Live goes on... live and let die!
     I like to add a bit more bullshit to the main bullshit post :)

    What I like about Hoefler is that he never goes for what developers call "The minimun viable product" and that he manages the way to allocate as much time as needed to release the "best possible product". He always goes the extra mile, for example:
    http://emails.typography.com/2010_10/

    But not only the fonts.. also the newsletter is excelent, the webfont service is jawdropping, the websites blog talking about the fonts and helping the users to take advantage of the fonts in the better possible way is the best of the best not other foundrie have something similar. The specimens.. you name it.. everything is perfect.
    There must be something in his brain.. in the way he thinks.. I dont know.. but whatever the hell he does.. he does it perfectly... so I must trust him and accept that firing tobias and selling the foundry was also a perfect plan.. even if both things made me sad..the man has a track record of doing perfect shit!

    I envy that method... becouse:
    1) Im lazy (but hey! Lazy Loading is a good thing in the programmers world)
    2) I have deadlines (that I always miss) so my plan is always to do the best possible work in the minimal amout of time possible. If I can skip small caps or old style numerals i will skip it for the initial release (we can always add them later if the font get successful) 

    I cant help users by providing the finest typographical bundle, but I always try to help the users by releasing fonts that I think will be usefull for them. I always think a lot before starting new projects.

    The latest truly hoefleristics thing hoefler released was Quattro. A display old style.
    And once again.. he did the whole package.. the full range of weigths, italics, all the shit.
    I was trully jelous... becouse I like to think he stole the idea from me when he saw my Libre Caslon Display in dribble. Libre Caslon is also a display old style that I also stole from Mortimer Leach handlettered display caslon. So im not worried that he stole the idea from my also stolen idea and exanged the english for the duthc model.. we all stole shit (in the good sence) from everyone else.. what I envy is that he was able to develop the whole range of weigths and the italics and the alternates and what not.. and everything is fucking perfect! Hell yeah.. im happy as a cow that he got inspiration from me!! :)
    Look at the comments.. he worte: I'd have thought a very nice Kis, but "Caslon?" 
    That was the sparckle for creating Quattro, isent it?
    https://dribbble.com/shots/974278-Libre-Caslon-Beta-34
    https://www.typography.com/fonts/quarto/overview

    On the other hand.. I choosed to develop "Libre Caslon Text" instead, wich is a sice specific cut rearranged to work as a webfonts at 16px or so. And I was in a hurry to complete the italics and the bold on time. But hell... I cant complain.. Im not him haha :)
    Maybe I can evolve it into a size specific axe variable font in the future. 

    I write all this bullshit shit only becouse Im sad we wont be seeing new fonts from Him.. 

    Cheers!!!


  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,867
    mostly classical (boring) designs. They will be dead faster than fontfonts.

    Indeed. But this is a business in which zombies thrive.

  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 938
    edited June 11
    Pablo, I’m not seeing a strong connection between your Caslon and Quarto. There were plenty of large size oldstyles around by the time it was released, including others inspired by Van den Keere.

    BTW, it was not drawn by Jonathan all by himself, but with Sara Soskolne.
  • PabloImpallariPabloImpallari Posts: 557
    Pablo, I’m not seeing a strong connection between your Caslon and Quarto. 
    No problem.. maybe Im just dreaming :)
  • John SavardJohn Savard Posts: 986
    edited June 13
    Pablo, I’m not seeing a strong connection between your Caslon and Quarto. There were plenty of large size oldstyles around by the time it was released, including others inspired by Van den Keere.

    That it is inspired by Hendrik van der Keere, rather than being a Caslon, is indeed one thing. Of course, Caslon was very similar to the Dutch Old Style typefaces.
    It certainly reminded me (in the bold weight) of a very well known typeface I've seen before, for which it could be an effective substitute, but the name of it escapes me at the moment.
    I could be thinking of either Meridien or Tiffany Heavy, but they resemble Quarto less than his Caslon does.
    However, I learned one thing. I remember asking "what was the typeface that inspired all these other imitations out there", serif typefaces that look a bit like a slab serif, but not quite. It's Fedra Serif, apparently, that started the craze.
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