W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > www-font@w3.org > July to September 1996

Re: the alternative?

From: Erik van Blokland <evb@knoware.nl>
Date: Fri, 23 Aug 96 15:04:58 +0200
Message-Id: <199608231303.PAA13084@kalvermarkt.denhaag.dataweb.net>
To: "Michael Bernstein" <michael@cascadilla.com>, "Michal Young" <young@cs.purdue.edu>, "w3" <www-font@w3.org>
>From:        Michael Bernstein, michael@cascadilla.com
[snipper]
>But I hate going bankrupt even more, and because
>I sell fonts to a very small academic market, a few hundred free copies
>of all of my fonts will not lead to thousands more sold later; it'll
>lead to a loss of most of my sales.

Good point. 

>> I'm very concerned about the erosion of perceived value in fonts.  That
>> destroys the market for future fonts.
Liam Quin:
>This (I think) is a common error.  If the price becomes 1/10th of today's
>prices, but you sell 1,000 times more, you will be very happy.

Though typefaces share the same fileformat, they do not represent the 
same value. Lowering prices will not make fonts containing symbols of an 
long lost language sell more copies. It will just lower income.

Not all fonts are the same to all people. The world's best text face 
(Trinite) does not mean much to the people who buy SWFTE fonts. Should 
the price then be lowered as to accomodate them? Of course not. Will a 
cheap Trinite sell more copies? Possibly to the people who were going to 
buy it anyway, but not many others. 
Price and number of sales are not necessarily related, only with 
comparable products from competing companies (Adobe's version Frutiger is 
cheaper than Linotype's). Marketing, quality and exposure to piracy do 
influence prices. 
(Income and happiness are of course always related.:)

Considering that the quality of a typeface does not change much once it's 
been created, the only way to increase revenue would be increasing 
marketing efforts (more ads sell more fonts, regardless of price 
category) or to lower the risk of exposure to piracy. Only if the usage 
of type can be monitored more closely can prices be lowered.

"Secure typography" should:
- allow webpublishers (anyone with a webpage) to use exclusive, expensive 
typefaces, without making their investment available to all, or affecting 
its exclusivity. 
- give foundries peace of mind when licensing fonts for online use, 
knowing the fonts will only be available to the people they license it to.
- give foundries the opportunity to limit certain applications of their 
fonts: viewing, printing, domains, sizes.
- give foundries a way to identify licensees of fonts used in webpages: 
by adding a personalised code to each and every font used on the web. 
Fonts with the code removed are suspect, fonts with license for a 
different domain are suspect as well. This can be achieved with relative 
simple database and manufacturing systems (and should have been 
implemented years ago).


erik

erik van blokland, LettError type & typography
Home of the Randomfonts, Trixie, BitPull & GifWrap.
   letterror http://www.letterror.com
   typelab   http://www.dol.com/TypeLab/
Received on Friday, 23 August 1996 09:04:24 UTC

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