W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-style@w3.org > November 2008

RE: CSS3 @font-face / EOT Fonts - new compromise proposal

From: Levantovsky, Vladimir <Vladimir.Levantovsky@MonotypeImaging.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2008 16:04:07 -0500
Message-ID: <E955AA200CF46842B46F49B0BBB83FF2767E1C@wil-email-01.agfamonotype.org>
To: "Aryeh Gregor" <Simetrical@gmail.com>, "Thomas Phinney" <tphinney@adobe.com>
Cc: "Mikko Rantalainen" <mikko.rantalainen@peda.net>, <www-style@w3.org>

On Thursday, November 13, 2008 7:44 PM Aryeh Gregor wrote:
> Let's be clear here: only *some* web designers want to be 
> able to use retail fonts.  Not "web designers".
> The overwhelming majority of websites run on almost 
> nonexistent budgets (or in other words, the overwhelming 
> majority are small).
> Lots of personal sites and so on.  These sites mostly cannot 
> afford retail fonts, or if they can afford some cheaper ones, 
> most would likely not view it as worth the money.

I am afraid your assumptions here are not based on actual facts. A
significant chunk of our retail business (details are in the annual
report, if you'd like) comes from the individual sales - the customers
are real people like you and I who by $29 fonts to make wedding
invitations and other stuff. All the fonts we have already sold can and
will be used on the web as soon as:
- there are technical means to do it (this is what we are discussing
these days), and
- we update our license to allow this use.

The people who already bought the fonts for their personal use will not
have to pay an extra dime to use them on their personal websites - I
expect this kind of use to explode once we do what we set out to do.

> On the other hand, I'm not sure the very largest websites 
> would all want to license retail fonts either.  Certainly 
> Wikipedia wouldn't, for one, for ideological reasons.  Some 
> others (more typical ones) might prefer to buy or the font 
> outright, or have it developed to their specifications, 
> rather than rely on a third-party font:

Again, bad assumptions - the cost of getting a font developed for you or
buying the font outright will be in 6-7 figure range, depending on
complexity and other requirements (this is what it costs to actually
produce a good font, and we need to sell many $29 copies to make up for
it). Not many companies would want to pay this much, although there are
some that did (http://www.customfonts.com/ClientList.asp)

> companies like Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft could afford that.
> Others, like social networking sites, will probably want to 
> allow their users to choose the fonts, which means retail 
> fonts are likely to be unused for the bulk of the site (since 
> a typical Facebook user probably isn't going to be willing to 
> pay for a retail font for their Facebook page).

I wouldn't be surprised if they do because they *are* buying fonts
today. Our webstore (http://www.fonts.com/) gets many million hits per
year (again, detailed numbers are in the annual report).

> There is almost certainly a large middle class of websites, 
> such as those designed by professional contractors for 
> businesses with lots of money to spend, whose designers will 
> want to use retail fonts -- but these are not all websites, 
> nor all web designers.  I suspect they're a fairly small 
> minority, but even if not, they can't be assumed to be the 
> same as web designers as a whole.

Those professional contractors are getting paid for designing a content
that has unique look and feel. Typically, a professional graphics
designer would use a new font when he does the job for a new client, and
he might already have hundreds (if not thousands) of fonts in his
collection. He is definitely the guy who wouldn't hesitate to buy a new
font, the same way that a professional photographer wouldn't even blink
to buy a new lens if needed.

Received on Friday, 14 November 2008 21:03:35 UTC

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