Crushed by the Font Industry (Please Read)



  • Re-reading the starting message in the thread, I don’t think “please speak out!” tells us which it is you wanted/needed.
    Since the original post also noted that the poster had been left in such a state by her struggles that she could no longer bring herself to design another font, that helpful advice on marketing fonts without being ripped off within the current industry as it exists would not be what she would regard as applicable to her situation was, I think, relatively obvious.
    Not that I fault those who provided such advice, because perhaps others reading this thread could use it to avoid ending up in a similar situation.
    Given her description of her situation, perhaps emotional support would be beneficial. But that wasn't what she was asking for either.
    I mean, it's not as if the meaning of "please speak out" isn't clear.
    Maybe her hopes and wishes are unrealistic. But as she believes that her problems stem from flaws and inequities in the industry as it exists, she was asking for activism to work towards change in this situation.
    Of course, some replies addressed that, for example, pointing out such things as that the problems she encountered were rooted in the human condition, and so following helpful advice would be a more fruitful strategy than activism.

  • @JoyceKetterer: You say that something turned and she got upset. I gather you're referring to her post on December 9, "Thanks for the tips..."

    You responded to her post in a way that made me think you may have mis-interpreted her post. I got the sense from your post that she was upset about the discussion here. But when I read her post, I had gotten the impression she was upset about an interaction she had had with someone elsewhere, not in this thread. I thought her she was giving that as an example of someone in the font community not being empathetic and supportive, but did not see anything in it suggesting she was upset by any of the discussion in this thread. 

    I agree with a main point of your last: it should be possible to have these kinds of discussions in this forum in helpful and constructive ways.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,193
    @JoyceKetterer Letting other people go first to assess the vibe has its merits too. Or at least give a brief response to check if I'm on the right's a bad habit and an embarrassing one. That's why I love the delete post feature on Reddit.
  • We all know what road is paved with good intentions. No one did anything wrong here; to the contrary, everyone offered their best advice, generously. I think it’s worth recognizing that, in an online forum, there’s little choice but to meet things at face value—no nonverbal cues, no background of fact or personal psychology, only what’s written by someone you’ve never met. And yet, who wants to say to someone who is obviously hurting, “Sorry, this isn’t appropriate to this forum”? Misunderstandings are inevitable.

    But in font industry terms, what I saw was someone who enjoyed some success making informal script fonts, enough to gain recognition from the press and vendors. From what I can tell, this was largely in the mid-2010s. How many informal scripts have made it to the marketplace since then? I don’t know, but the empirical evidence makes it seem like the number is astronomical. How can that be a healthy commercial ecosystem for anyone? Fifteen minutes of fame has been reduced to five. To search for one of these fonts for use (or a geometric sans serif, for that matter) has become an exasperatingly lengthy ordeal. I’ve been renovating a house over the past six years. There are more than 2000 toilets on the market in the U.S. (I'm not kidding, see, but sorting through them is easier than looking for an informal script font because there are more differentiators and the sales sites give more complete information. 

  • I appreciate all the advice....But yes I was destroyed by putting all my efforts in vendor relations rather than building an individual business and self promotions. I had so many designers, font community, vendors and brands reaching out during the "good days" asking for favors and I complied. Unfortunately that was the wrong choice because as soon as my business headed south non of these people I've supported, supported me back.

    "Speak out" meant that I wanted to hear other relatable designers stories who went through the same situation so I know I wasn't alone. I will repeat myself when I say I was bringing awarness to new comers to please watch out! There are lots of users and bad vendor contracts you need to be aware of in the font community.

    @JoyceKetterer please leave this thread. I know you know all the answers but you lack empathy and you are making a bad situation worse for me. Please save your stellar advice for other threads. I didn't ask for your advice.....SPEAK OUT means speak out about relatable stories so we can understand this is a common occurrence in the font community. 
  • Marc OxborrowMarc Oxborrow Posts: 213
    edited December 2021
    @Cindy Kinash — Just to clarify: You are a new member of a public forum, who asked for (and received) help/support/empathy from established members, and now want to dictate the terms and participation of long-time contributors?
  • This industry proves to be nasty and ego filled after reading these posts. The survivors have the game down. People are scared to speak out. Support lacks unless there is an incentive for the supporter. This thread turned out to be bullying against me.

    I've always hoped the industry was about creating beautiful typography and sharing the love of fonts. I was very much wrong. It's about greed, egos and winning unfortunately....
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 594
    edited December 2021
    This industry proves to be nasty and ego filled after reading these posts.
    So, so not true. Because you said that, consider yourself on timeout. Go sit in the nearest corner, face to the wall, and pout.

  • Cindy, I don’t think you’re hearing yourself. I suggest that you read the thread again—all of it, word by word. Everyone who posted offered nothing but help and sympathy, and they did so generously, Joyce Ketterer especially. What you seem to have wanted to hear was a unanimous outcry of “That’s exactly what happened to me, too!” When you didn’t hear that, you labeled the respondents as selfish and egotistical. A reasonable person would not have interpreted the responses that way.

    This isn’t working for you, and it isn’t working for us, either. You need to get a grip on where you are professionally, and likely personally, as well. It seems to me that what you you really need is professional counseling. This isn’t the place for that. 

  • @George Thomas, that comment seems unwarranted; you’re not a moderator here. I think it’s time to lock this thread.
This discussion has been closed.