Fontsite/Softmaker: so what?

Primary tabs

59 posts / 0 new
Last post
Hugo Cristo's picture
Offline
Joined: 24 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
Fontsite/Softmaker: so what?
0

Hello Typophiles,

I’ve read the following statement in another
thread (Understanding the legal issues…):

Nathan Matteson:
“I think James is hitting it right on the head
here. I’ve been trying to get my school to buy a
decent font collection — even if only for two or
three “type specific” labs — for nigh on three
years now. We just had a good instructor quit
over the lack of type and the beaurocratic hoops
you have to jump through to [not] get it.

And the closest we got was our bookstore selling
the dubious FontSite CD. :-/”


Well, that statement came in good time. I’ve
been browsing the websites of many typefoundries
looking for a basic font CD collection to use
on everyday’s work at my office.

I’ve considered all my options, from Bitstream
to URW, and they range from U$ 120 to U$ 500…
That was until yesterday, when I found both
Softmaker (Megafont XXL) and Fontsite (CD 500)
collections, priced as low as U$ 39 and U$ 49…

So, what’s up here? I’ve recognized many fonts
under different names but I didn’t get if those
collections are legal or even “ethical”.

I’m planning to buy a font CD collection not
only to be “clean”, but also because I want
to make sure that the designers would receive
their proper royalties. I mean, what would
Adrian Frutiger receive if I buy FrontPage*
instead of Frutiger?

I want to make clear that I’m not distrusting
any company/person. I’m just curious why and how
those similar font collections can have so
different prices.

There’s a Brazilian proverb that says “o barato
sai caro”, wich means something like you cannot
have something for nothing… (In fact, I guess
it’s not even Brazilian, it’s an universal law).

Best regards,
hC

* This font equivalence was taken from Luc
Devroye’s website.

Richard Fink's picture
Offline
Joined: 25 May 2009 - 10:04pm
0

+1 to what Indra said. Thanks.

Better yet, how did you derive it?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Can you prove you're human?

hhp

darrel's picture
Offline
Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
0

Karl...that's some interesting reading.

HVB's picture
HVB
Offline
Joined: 17 Feb 2006 - 9:43am
0

@Derek
When you post long lists, it would be much easier for everyone if you could either post them to a website (providing a link here) or at least convert the format to a plain old comma-separated list instead of a three or four-yard long vertically scrolling text list :)

Personally, I find your lists quite useful. It's nice to have fairly complete lists of these collections - no matter what their origins may be.

- Herb

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

@hrant – Look at "Computer Stupidities". I do not think any robot with a skerrick of intelligence, let alone self-respect, would be caught out like that.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Get his teacher to explain that here too.

hhp

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

might be interesting to find out what softmaker have to say:

http://www.softmaker.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=11972&p=42225#p42225

they seem to know Derek, as do the MyFonts people, apparently. I don't know what to think about this now. If, Derek, you do understand what I am saying, please read the words by mr Kotulla in the Softmaker forum. It seems at least some things you have said are not true, according to him. I am interested in real knowledge on these subjects, but now it is hard to tell if it is, or if it isjust fantasy. Please explain why you post this stuff...

sorry, if I hurt your feelings with previous posts, but please understand that this can easily be misunderstood as spam.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0
Uli Stiehl's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 Feb 2006 - 8:02am
0

"A little madness in the spring
is wholesome even for the king."

(Emily Dickinson)

But do we have springtime?

Uli Stiehl's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 Feb 2006 - 8:02am
0

HVB:

For your convenience, I uploaded a ASCII file here:
http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/megafont.txt

Queneau:

The list is no "baloney", as Mr. Kotolla said at his sofmaker forum.
In fact, the list is more or less Mr. Kotulla's own font renaming list.

Please note: I only stated that the above LIST is no "baloney".

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

Ah Uli, glad you chime in here.

You seem to know a lot about all this stuff. I would like to know what are current and/or former connections between URW (URW++), Softmaker and FontSite. I still do not understand it. Basically the comparable fonts by URW, SM and FS have the same outlines (I checked) so they can be set in one paragraph without noticable difference. The do have different kerning and character sets though, and the FS fonts are now in OpenType with several OT features. They seem to develop the same base material on their own. So do Softmaker. But I thought that Softmaker licensed the fonts from URW, or bought the rights when they went bankrupt. But they claim to have licensed them from URW++ (URWs succesor), which brings the question if they now activily work together or not? I would not be interested in this, if the core set of fonts (outlines, metrics) was not sound, which they are, but I am curious how they can be offered for such different prices, under so many different names....

BTW It seems a core set of fonts that features on the SM collections, seem to be on almost all cheap font CDs here, like the Data Becker CD, Franzis font collections, Clickart packages, Serif font collections, etc. It's a jungle out there...

John Hudson's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
0

If Mr Despie is indeed autistic and obsessed with type, maybe there is some way to channel that obsession into something more interesting and useful to the community than a collection of clones of old fonts that no one much cares about. Seriously, this is deeply boring stuff: the detritus of the desktop publishing rush to digitise. The diamonds among the heaps of slag are few and far between, and most of them have long since been produced in better digital versions by the true trademark owners.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

*snooork...*

Nick Curtis's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
0

Derek,

Forgive me for pointing this out, but this entire thread smells suspiciously of Spam…

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

It's blatant advertising, sure, but at least it is relevant to this site.

Karl Stange's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 - 10:07am
0

Just found this discussion on myfonts:

http://www.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont/forum/case/160396/

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

I must say: impressive, even if you just made it all up. Jeez

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
0

I wish you will discover the power of comma separated list items as soon as possible.

Nick Curtis's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
0

Hey, Ray Larabie!

How many you figure are ripoffs of our freeware stuff?

Karl Stange's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 - 10:07am
0

It is something like a cross between Luc and Uli's content but without their unique filters and could be put to far better uses. I suppose if it continues that it may well attract the same attention as it did on MyFonts and Wikipedia.

Karl Stange's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 - 10:07am
0

Uli, quoting Emily Dickinson in this thread, you just made my week!

Uli Stiehl's picture
Offline
Joined: 1 Feb 2006 - 8:02am
0

Years ago, I analyzed all Softmaker and Fontsite fonts:

http://www.sanskritweb.net/forgers/#MEGAFONT

Note that these fonts had been renamed repeatedly.

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

Mr. Redux...

where are your sources, as I know a thing or two about fontsite and softmaker from previous research. Nothing you say is actually confirmed, and the dates seem just imaginary. can you explain?

edit:
You seem to be quite happy believeing in your own rumours, with posts by a certain Derek from California all over Topix on these themes. In fact the the new Megafont and infinitype release dates were denied in softmakers own forum. What do you wish to archieve with these posts??

Spam, anyone :P

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

Hey, you can always use them to build the DTP System From Hell: Get a Pentium MMX system with Win98 and slap Serif Publisher or Greenstreet Publisher on it.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

Naw, @Uli, all we have here is "The Song Without End".

Chris Lozos's picture
Offline
Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
0

DDD,
Instead of posting never-ending lists repeatedly, you would be better off just pointing to the list on your site just once. We are all getting carpal tunnel from excessive scrolling here. What you are doing is counterproductive to your own objectives in that anyone reading your posts will assume you are in need of medical or psychiatric attention?

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

You are hilarious, tell me, what will you do this weekend? hanging around with Sean and Martin and having a good old ball with 2,222 font names that I just showed and no multiple variation font names (Rough, Funky, Dirty, etc.) and featuring approx. 15,000+ typefaces in Windows & Macintosh OpenType format that each comes in two forms - "TrueType" and "PostScript" - marking as a total of approx. 30,000+ typefaces included.

This party, which may cost very expensive, should be LOTS of fun, be sure to post some snapshots, straight to us, off course!

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

If you may prove to be correct, you shall be named citizen of honour and a typoholic Nostradamus. You may post, as you do fancy, lists that shall continue for an infinitude of pages. Until that beautiful day though...

Indra Kupferschmid's picture
Joined: 8 Aug 2007 - 3:23am
0

Thank you very much. This is actually a useful list to have.

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

Moderators... this is getting silly, can you please look into this, this is SPAM.

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

you tell us

John Hudson's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
0

DDD1988Redux, a simple question: is spamming discussion boards what you wanted to be doing with your life when you were a child and imagined what future you might have?

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

There's a very thin line between a very smart robot and a very stupid human.

hhp

Nick Curtis's picture
Offline
Joined: 21 Apr 2005 - 8:16am
0

There's a very thin line between a very smart robot and a very stupid human.

Not that I've noticed…except that very stupid humans can vote. Bummer.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

Too bad that bumping a big post doesn't get it re-read. Not! ]:-D (That's the 'devilish laughter' smiley, btw.)

Karl Stange's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 - 10:07am
0

]:-D (That's the 'devilish laughter' smiley, btw.)

I have always used }:-D, the square bracket striking me as more of a crown.

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

You should ask Martin Kotulla, and you might as well ask Sean Cavanaugh about the Fontsite opentype collection...

Jeffrey's picture
Offline
Joined: 15 Aug 2007 - 3:25am
0

[sigh]

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
0

Odd. The curly bracket reminds me of a tiara...

Karl Stange's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Sep 2009 - 10:07am
0

Hmmm, perhaps it is best not to dabble in such things... I do like this combo though {]:-D

Derek Despie's picture
Offline
Joined: 17 Apr 2015 - 11:40pm
0

I just said it on MyFonts.com discussion, every MyFonts user and all accounts each would have a limit of 30 cases per day when on the WhatTheFont Forum.

Hugo Cristo's picture
Offline
Joined: 24 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

Well..

It seems that this subject isn’t interesting at
all or maybe it’s too complex to be discussed
here in Typophile.

BTW thanks for the messages I’ve received
privately. I hope I’ve choosen the right
purchase option.

hC

Hugo Cristo's picture
Offline
Joined: 24 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

Nathan said:
>So anyone can rip off your outlines, change the
name, and redistribute the font.

Well, that’s really sad. Most of Brazilian
software-related laws are based on US
standards so I guess there’s nothing to
do about it here.

Talking about the renaming issue, those links
were very helpful. I already knew most of those
threads but this time I’ve read them carefuly
and many of my questions became clear.

Another curious thing is the poor quality
Nathan mentioned. One would find lots of
statements on Softmakers’ site telling how
professional, polished and well hinted their
fonts are. And they even include expert sets.



Hrant: I’m digging the Typo-L archives to find
the messages you said, but I still think that
‘fantasy’ name thing is somehow strange, mostly
because that equivalence list I’ve mentioned
can be found everywhere on the web.

Thanks everybody.

hC

(Now even the Cambridge CD seems ‘evil’ to me)

Hugo Cristo's picture
Offline
Joined: 24 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

Here are the messages Hrant was talking about and this
is Sean Cavanaugh’s (from FontSite) full explaination.

hC

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
0

Aaah, the good old days.  ;-)

hhp

Hugo Cristo's picture
Offline
Joined: 24 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

Yeah, really.

That archive works like a contemporary history
class for me. I had just entered college when
those messages were written. :-)

I agree with some opinions I read there — like
newer typefaces should be more expensive than
the older ones — but marketing education is a
difficult subject, isn’t it?

hC

PS: The wise proverb shows up again, revised — 
you can’t get something for nothing, even
if it’s old and dusty :-)

Nathan Matteson's picture
Offline
Joined: 16 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
0

Thanks for digging up that link Hugo. Very interesting read. I feel somewhat bad now for assuming the FontSite CD was a piece of questionable garbage.

I’m wondering now, however, if I should go back to recommending the CD to my students. I suppose there’s two ways to look at it. (1) If they don’t buy the Fontsite CD, they’ll probably just pirate fonts from some file-share network or other — and the CD is legal after all; (2) there’s Hrant’s view (which I assume you still hold, hhp) that the CD is detrimental to the type industry as a whole — so purchasing it is, in the long term, a “bad thing.”

I suppose there’s no easy answer to all of this.

darrel's picture
Offline
Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
0

Isn’t that like saying buying a chair at Wal-Mart is detrimental to the furniture design industry as a whole?

Hugo Cristo's picture
Offline
Joined: 24 Feb 2003 - 11:00am
0

Darrel,

I don’t agree with that. Design shouldn’t be
understood as a way of selling products for
higher prices, but as way of making things
better, more accessible, cheaper, easier to
use etc.

I really don’t know why fonts are so expensive
or if they should be cheaper.

The only thing I know is that if someone does
everything I do as twice as fast and with the
same quality, he should double his price as well
and not divide it at half.

I’m not saying that the Fontsite CD is evil.
My point is that its costumers must understand
its real purpose (educational/beginner’s kit)
instead of thinking that everything else is
wrong, too expensive and not worth buying.

I think making a Wal-Mart Font CD wasn’t Sean’s
original purpose either :-)

hC

darrel's picture
Offline
Joined: 4 Feb 2003 - 6:03pm
0

“The only thing I know is that if someone does
everything I do as twice as fast and with the
same quality, he should double his price as well
and not divide it at half.”

That goes against basic competition in the open market. Some people prefer to sell on price, some on quality, a few can do both.

“My point is that its costumers must understand
its real purpose (educational/beginner’s kit)
instead of thinking that everything else is
wrong, too expensive and not worth buying.”

Well, it’d be nice if people realized that shopping at Wal-Mart isn’t necessarily good for the planet or society as a whole. But that’s how American Capitalism works. We sell as much as we can as cheap as we can. I’m not saying that’s right, that’s just what it is. I agree that the only solution is probably more consumer education.