Haas Unica research

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Corey Holms's picture
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Haas Unica research
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Hello all.

I am doing some research on the typeface Haas Unica and was wondering if anyone here might have some information on it.

Currently what I have is basic information about Team 77, and the typeface's inception there. Followed by it being digitized by Scangraphic, but not how the rights were acquired or any of that info. Then I get to E+F buying the Scangraphic catalog, but due to legal issues, Haas Unica is no longer distributed.

If anyone can fill in the sketchy details I have above, I would really appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

Benjamin's picture
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you can find some more here, but Hrants link for buying the font is dead.

http://typophile.com/node/4840

Corey Holms's picture
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thank you

Corey Holms's picture
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So after a little more digging, I have run into a bit of a snag. Two reputable sources have given me conflicting reports.

I originally heard that it was Scangraphic who digitized and released the typeface, and when E+F bought their catalog, E+F ran into some legal problems that have lead to the typeface being discontinued. Then from another source, I have heard that URW digitized it (but never released it) only to have it distributed by The Font Company, with no explanation to why it is no longer available.

Does anyone know the correct story?

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Mr. Joe Bauldoff:

I will, of course, remove the document if any relevant legal body says...

This would be futile, since other internet users grapped the copyrighted monograph uploaded by Mr. Bauldoff and have already made it available for download at other websites. And e.g. a certain Mr. Philip Sterne now offers the copyrighted monograph as a PDF file made on the basis of Mr. Bauldoff's scans. See here:

http://www.inference.phy.cam.ac.uk/pjs67/FromHelveticaToHaasUnica.pdf

The famous old Latin proverb

"Et semel emissum volat irrevocabile..."

("Once it has been sent flying out, it cannot be called back")

is particularly true for those who upload copyrighted works to the internet without permission by the authors of these works.

For instance, in this way, by uploading to the internet, the huge font collections, e.g. Linotype's Gold Edition, Adobe's Font Folio, Scangraphic's rip-off collection (including the Haas Unica font), etc. etc., are now available to everyone for free download, in the very same way as the Hass Unica monograph uploaded by Mr. Baulhoff: "Et semel emissum volat irrevocabile..."

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Yunyka?

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Eben Sorkin:

> Also, please look up “schizophrenic”.

I used this word as a misnomer to make Typophiles happy who are wont to use misnomers such as "stealing" copyrighted works (you cannot "steal" them), font "software" (fonts are no computer programs and font designers are no computer programmers), and similar legal misnomers.

Instead of "schizophrenic", I could have used the legel expression "venire contra factum proprium", but I preferred to use the misnomer so that Typophiles are happy.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Fantastic news.

hhp

Adam Twardoch's picture
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Si,

no, with John Downer ;)

A.

James Mark Hatley's picture
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^ now you’ve posted a link to the pdf yourself, but I guess that is fair use because the intent was educational?

Halp!

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Nice one James. But next there will be excuses and lame arguments presented. RE: "Happy". Uli you are just being silly to dodge my complaint and you know it. It's best to ignore (probably). Not that I set a good example.

x-y's picture
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Like somebody who could resell it further even if it's not available online, or somebody giving it since there is no way to pay for it.
It's very sad that an interesting typeface like this can't be avaiblable for some legal issues or don't exactly know what. It's not like ripping somebody off. Anyway, even if it's not for sale anywhere, some people have it, that is a very strange situation.

Edit: I realise how my english sucks. But i think people get the point.

Hoss Gifford's picture
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Joined: 14 Feb 2011 - 6:46am
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I hope you don't construe this as spam, but those of you with an interest in the most wonderful Haas Unica might be interested in my clock app. I've more information up at http://itsaclock.flamjam.com

And here are some quick links

iPhone version.
itms://itunes.apple.com/us/app/its-a-clock/id353873328

Android version.
http://bit.ly/itsandroid

I look forward to hearing your opinion on how Haas Unica looks in this context.

Best, Hoss.

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@Eben: You're right, that is an interesting article when they document the letter-by-letter improvements. To my eye they've given the G an overbite, but otherwise they look like thoughtful edits. Like you, I think a closer comparison to Univers would be interesting. Do you think the name Unica was intended to evoke UNIvers?

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Do you think the name Unica was intended to evoke UNIvers?

UNIvershelvetiCA

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Update: The full promotional piece is here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bauldoff/2389151563/

Eben Sorkin's picture
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It is like ripping someone off if you simply take it or trade it while the people that own the font's IP don't want to sell it or give it away. I think that's their right, and the courts would back that up.

If anybody offers to give it away on typophile, we will block that link and potentially take stronger action as well.

Even though it was a great font ( i think ) there is certainly no shortage of good sans fonts to pick from now so I think you can't really say you NEED it. You would like to have it. There is a difference.

If you want to learn from it however, the files I have linked to will help with that.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Hmmm, that means you're not really Adam. ;-)

hhp

Simon Daniels's picture
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>Hmmm, that means you’re not really Adam. ;-)

Ah, an Adam forgery! ;-)

On a more serious but equally off-topic note it would be interesting to get John Downer's take on Albany, Liberation Sans and custom corporate fonts that use the metrics of Arial? Are these imitations of Arial?

Craig Eliason's picture
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Oh, of course, duh on me.

Then I wonder if the brief was to create a Helvetica/Univers hybrid, but the article spins it more as an improved Helvetica (though Univers is considered in the first part).

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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Which brings up the question, what do you do with a font that you purchase legally that comes into a legal conflict after the fact and then is taken off the market? What do you do with a client that is using that font?

Uli Stiehl's picture
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> either threatens to sue him

Thomas Phinney:

Why don't you sue the Russian websites that offer the entire Adobe Font Folio collection for free download? Maybe, in Russia, you find a mentally disordered judge who has the psychotic delusion that fonts are "computer programs" written by "computer programmers".

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"It is like ripping someone off if you simply take it or trade it while the people that own the font’s IP don’t want to sell it or give it away. I think that’s their right, and the courts would back that up."

Yes of course. What I meant was, the goal is not to steal a font. I would not do it, the goal was to see if there was a way to get the font legally. I don't know what is going on with this font (why it is not available now). I was hoping that maybe it was not a law issue regarding the files, so that i could get it directly from the owners or any reseller (legally).
Of course i don't really need it. Did I say that? It would be just cool to have it. As a swiss graphic designer I must say i has more interest in this font than in a lot of other "grotesk" fonts on the market now. Even if there is a lot of choice, i think there isn't that many really interesting alternatives to fonts like helvetica (not that i use it that often) that have the same power in the design. My 2c.

Eben Sorkin's picture
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That's a good question. I would have hard time 'punishing' a client who had legally bought the font. You could always contact the foundry in question if you had an idea they had been wronged by the seller - that would be the big thing to do. A middle path might be to ask to extend the license from the legit owners of the IP when & if you needed additional licenses. The policy for extending an existing license might be different than a new purchase. But yes, it's a bit grey.

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I see . Yes, If I was working in a swiss style the appeal of a real Haas Unica would be really really powerful. That makes abundant sense. I would like to be able to buy it or even revive it. But it isn't possible as far as I can see. In any event if I was to harsh with you I am sorry. Are you Thibaud Tissot or Yassin Baggar BTW?

As to the IP comments: Not only is the use of "schizophrenic" woefully imprecise - the reasoning about the IP issues is as well.

The font is a thing for sale - or was. that is one kind of thing.

Promotional materials that had been made public; and that are being used - not to be resold - for academic/didactic or even autodidactic purposes are clearly another. If I published a book and included the images and made a profit or was attempting to; a line would be being crossed. If I was charging to see the images on a CDR the same would be true, or online or in any other media.

definitely looking for a bit of a restoration
Andy, that is sad news indeed.

James Mark Hatley's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2004 - 11:00am
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Thanks for hazarding a guess. In my case the digital font's creator, I suspect, was contacted by the creator of the original pre-digital type and the font was taken off the market because of some conflict or misunderstanding. I had used the font in an identity—before it was removed from the market. It was for a friend, and is a rather small business. I’ve been thinking about it though. Not only have I sold an identity and several rounds of printed matter, I could possibly have put my client in a legal situation, and in turn myself in regards to the foundry that digitized and sold the font.

A not so funny turn on the usual font piracy issue. Maybe I should hike my prices on other jobs to compensate for the potential legal liability until the selling foundry clears its legal claim to the face and puts it on the market again. I’m sort of laughing as I type…

Eben Sorkin's picture
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When people have spoken to me about it they generally refer to it as a Hybrid between Helvetica and Frutiger. Or maybe I am misrecalling. But in either event, the idea that it a Frutiger-like letter is maybe providing inspiration has been said before. I do love how much better it sets massed on the page. And i love that you can go through and consider what might be helping with that. It's always possible they left something out in the provided list. Or that the change listed isn't helping that much or is a kind of indifferent change, so stay critical. But in general I am grateful that they made such a lovely and useful promotional document. Although it seems obvious to me that it is clearly better in massed text, I am not sure that Haas Unica would be better in display.

The other thing is that I wonder if anybody ever made optical-size specific shapes in the Metal days for Helvetica. I have an idea that That Haas Unica had no such thing because I think they would have had film based typesetting in mind. Haas Unica is listed as releasing in 1980. Adobe Postscript is introduce in 1984.

André's picture
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Yunyka spells just right

x-y's picture
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No problem, i know how my message could be confusing...
I'm Yassin.

Uli Stiehl's picture
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Eben Sorkin:

The font is a thing for sale - or was. that is one kind of thing. Promotional materials that had been made public; and that are being used - not to be resold - for academic/didactic or even autodidactic purposes are clearly another. If I published a book and included the images and made a profit or was attempting to; a line would be being crossed. If I was charging to see the images on a CDR the same would be true, or online or in any other media.

If you were able to read the US Copyright Law, you would discover that the law does not speak of "thing for sale", of "promotional materials", etc. If your schizophrenic reasoning would reflect the US Copyright Law, then the literary works of non-for-profit (e.g. religious etc.) organisations, which are distributed free of charge, would not be protected by copyright.

Hrant Papazian was the only person at this Typophile site who was able to recognize that offering for download the monograph “From Helvetica to Haas Unica” in its whole without permission by the authors is illegal and constitutes a copyright infringement. Mr. Papazian wrote (see above):

"I think making it public in its whole would be beyond Fair Use."

Uli Stiehl's picture
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The schizophrenic behaviour of many American Typophiles concerning the US Copyright Law is highly interesting from the psychiatric point of view:

Although the monograph "From Helvetica to Haas Unica" written by Schwind et al. is a literary work protected as per section § 102 (a) (1) of the US Copyright Law, Mr. Eben Sorkin did not hesitate to specify the download link to this work offered by Joe Bauldoff by way of copyright infringement.

However, when someone asked for the Haas Unica font via download link, the very same Mr. Sorkin said:

"If anybody offers to give it away on typophile, we will block that link and potentially take stronger action as well."

This behaviour is schizophrenic.

nlx's picture
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Unica was designed to make a better Helvetica… but we're talking about the old Helvetica right ? Not the Neue version ?

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Schizophrenia, as a condition that could be "diagnosed by a professional", is a problematic term. The fact that humans contradict themselves could be a condemnation of the entire species as mentally ill, or being of two minds could actually be an evolutionary benefit. This is pure speculation.

The fact that we, on this forum, focus on copyright law in regards to font creation is more of a proximity bias I would suggest. For the group, copyright law in regards to images and written word IS more lightly policed.

Any Adobe Formata users out there?

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Basic Commercial is a renamed version of AG, i.e. a clone (same "genetic material", i.e. practically an identical copy). Just like Humanist 777 is a renamed clone (or "alternate cut" ;) of Frutiger.

BTW, Arial is not a Helvetica clone, it is an imitation.

A,

Simon Daniels's picture
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Adam, have you been hanging out with Uli?

x-y's picture
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Is the font still unavailable? No way to get it through special ways?

Adam Twardoch's picture
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Юника.

William Berkson's picture
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Uli, have you examined the 'fair use' doctrine, a part of the US legal code?

"Notwithstanding the provisions ... the fair use of a copyrighted work... for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:

1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."

Because this work was a short promotional piece, never made for sale [reason 1] and because its dissemination can only help sell Haas Unica, if it is ever revived [reason 4], and because this posting is not for sale but for educational purposes, there is a solid case for it being "fair use".

I don't know how a court would rule--and it will never be an issue--but your name-calling is not called for.

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BTW, if Linotype gets away with selling "Basic Commercial", which is a renamed clone of Akzidenz Grotesk, they might just go ahead and invent a new name for Unica.

Helvers? ;)

A.

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Neu is not really equivalent to Haas Unica because they are still quite different. In what way? HU would still be better for longer & smaller texts I think. At large sizes the distinctive qualities of Neu might make it better or less suitable depending on the context of use. HU is a less attention grabbing design. That's my impression.

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Hi Corey, I read your article. So you also in research & development like me. I am from London. Your research regarding the Haas Unica.As per my knowledge its develop in 1980s. and it comes form the Helvetica. I also do the research for the pharmacy tablets which are available in market like anti biotic, pain killers; power booster i.e generic viagra & many more. This pills are not having any side effect. But before taking this pill please consult the doctors.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
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Impressive.

hhp

RG's picture
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With regards to versions - there WERE 2 versions by Scangraphic 1 for body text and one for headlines which was kerned really close. (I dont know if there were any other modificartions)

SB = Scangraphic Body
SH = Scangraphic Headline

hernan

Scangraphic's SH was letter-spaced tightly (like Hernan says "really close", it is indeed really close; a bit too much for today's taste). Apart from this letter-spacing difference, the SB bears those little notches/adjustment (खाचाखळगा)... I'm forgetting what they're called in English... ink-traps ??

RG

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lulz

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Hünilkers

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Hi,

I am one of very few to be lucky to purchase on time from Fontshop in Berlin Haas Unica. I was in 2000. Since mid 80; I was using it in my corporate designs, ID etc. When I'd heard about Mac version I immediately bought Unica. My Swiss typography teacher from Zurich Mr Paul Buhlmann recommended me Unica as a mix of Universe and Helvetica elements. I have never came across of any designer using Unica. Yes it was Team 77. Note: Unica is not in sale anymore.

regards,
Lech

http://www.swiss-miss.com/2008/04/from-helvetic-1.html

http://ministryoftype.co.uk/words/article/haas_unica/

http://typedia.com/explore/typeface/haas-unica/

Simon Daniels's picture
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In Office Space tradition...

Hass Clown

Kent Lew's picture
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I removed the spam link and blocked the account, but I left the post because Hrant’s right: it truly is an impressive piece of hand-crafted spamming. ;-)

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Those links point to a PDF and a set of hi-res images of the entire Unica specimen booklet. Since that specimen was published in Typografische Monatsblatter, aren't those copyright violations?

hhp

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Mr. Berkson:

"Uli, have you examined the ’fair use’ doctrine, a part of the US legal code?"

Yes, I did.

I reread the US copyright Law sections quoted by you (and also checked other legal sources), and I came to the conclusion that Mr. Joe Bauldoff (NOT Mr. Sorkin, of course, as Mr. Sorkin only made the link to Bauldoff's flickr site) committed a copyright infringement.

1)

Mr. Bauldoff, who uploaded the copyrighted monograph, gave the following explanation here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/bauldoff/sets/72157604393470536/

"After holding onto this report for some time, I feel it should be available to everyone. I am no typographer, but this accomplishment and the methodical thought that went into it fascinates me."

This is Mr. Joe Bauldoff's excuse for uploading a copyrighted work. Obviously, this excuse is neither criticism, nor comment, nor news reporting, nor teaching, nor scholarship, nor research, as specified by section § 107 of the US Copyright Law, and hence his upload of the copyrighted literary work was no fair use, but an unfair copyright infringement.

Those who downloaded the copyrighted monograph offered by Mr. Bauldoff, made short comments such as these:

"Thanks for sharing!"

"Thanks for uploading this, Bauldoff."

Such notes are neither criticism, nor comment, nor news reporting, nor teaching, nor scholarship, etc. etc., and hence such "thanks" comments do not legalize the illegal upload made by Mr. Bauldoff.

2)

If uploading an entire copyrighted work for download would be fair use, then uploading the Haas Unica font itself for download would be fair use too.

For instance, at a Russian website (I do not mention the link, because Mr. Sorkin would remove it), I have just read:

Question: "Does anyone have Haas Unica? It used to be available from Scangraphic (pre 2004), but it is no longer. Thanks."

Reply: "Here is Haas Unica (original, 8 weights, Type1)"

The uploader could have added the same explanation, as was given by Mr. Bauldoff, after replacing the word "report" by the word "font":

"After holding onto this font for some time, I feel it should be available to everyone. I am no typographer, but this accomplishment and the methodical thought that went into it fascinates me."

Eben Sorkin's picture
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Cheers Yassin!

Uli, if you want to ask the owners if they think it's "fair use" or not to share images of what is an advertisement - go ahead. I would be interested in their take. It is possible that Hrant's idea about it is right. Maybe I am missing something. But in the meantime look into "fair use". Admittedly it is something which is still quite fuzzy legally speaking and may take some time to understand. But as Bill points out it really does seem to cover this instance very very well.

Also, please look up “schizophrenic”. The popular use of the word to mean "of two or more minds or personalities" is misleading. Further using it as an Epithet is also marginalizing for people who suffer from it and doesn't help people to understand the illness or to treat it properly.