The most expensive font?

manard's picture

Which is the one?
I've found faces from lineto.com are quite expensive (although beautiful): about 180 CHF (118 Eur) for a single weight, 340 eur for a font family.

m.

eomine's picture

I'm not very aware about pricing, but I think Dutch Type Library have the most expensive types out there. IIRC, the full Prokyon (italics, smallcaps, figures alternatives, etc) costs approximately 1600 euro.

eomine's picture

There is also Luxury by Orange Italic, which concept was to be an expensive type family, but I'm too lazy now to check how much it costs. :-p

defrancisco's picture

I believe the whole Luxury pack (three font families) was something like $1,500

benkiel's picture

I think that you'll find that the faces from the Enschede foundry might be up there. The complete Trinite (a wonderful text face) is 2,885 euros.

anonymous's picture

federal from letterror was up there at one point, though not as high as trinite

mark 150watt's picture

TEFF has a more expensive font, called Lexicon, by Bram de Does. €3044 excl. VAT. I've never seen a more expensive one i guess...

Si_Daniels's picture

How about Guliver? I know it's only sold direct to publishers, but is there sample pricing anywhere?

Bruce's picture

Despite the high prices on the ones already mentioned, all of these are so much cheaper (and especially the cost of an average font being now $25 or so for an individual license!) than what it used to cost back in the day. I can remember ordering a whole slew of types for a Monotype LaserComp in the 1980s and it was mucho thousands of dollars. Jackie, do you remember how much it was to buy fonts for an even earlier Alphatype or VIP system? And for that matter, I wonder how much one paid for a nice full magazine of Linotype mats when those were being sold new, retail, and made in the U.S.? Adjusted for 2007 dollars probably not cheap, either. (Forgive me if this is considered to be a highjack.)

Si_Daniels's picture

I don't think this is off-topic, but if you consider the question of the 'most expensive' then maybe custom work would be included? In that case I'd guess that one of the Windows core fonts, let's say Times New Roman, would have cost the most to develop and maintain over the past 20 years - and that's a font many end-users consider free.

Dan Gayle's picture

Has anyone actually purchasedTNR or Times for the past 10 years?

Back to the subject, what purpose does it serve to charge that amount of money for a typeface. I mean, if you can get away with it by all means, but damn! It's a volume thing I suppose? Why sell 1000 licenses when you can sell 2 or 3?

Lex Kominek's picture

I can think of a few reasons to charge gazillions for a font:

1. If someone will pay for it, then why not?
2. If you only sell one or two licences, then you can easily spot unlicenced use.
3. If people are paying that much, they are less likely to copy the font for their friends, and might even be careful about embedding it and such.
4. Having the most expensive font might bring at least a little fame or notoriety within the font community.

- Lex

Nick Cooke's picture

I think the price of fonts should increase.

Producing OpenType fonts involves so much more work than in the past!

Nick Cooke

Bert Vanderveen's picture

Right on Nick, fonts are way too cheap & that's why they turn up in the hands of people that don't appreciate them, don't know what to do with them and so on (the results are around us everyday).
Some thing for Kalashnikovs and landmines…

Jackie Frant's picture

I think the most expensive font you can own -- is asking a type designer to design an exclusive font for you -- and have fun negotiating a price.

Meanwhile, depending on what year you bought commercial fonts, I spent more than 900 US Dollars for the Gill Sans family from Monotype. I couldn't believe I was spending it. But considering I owned it all on typositor at $30 a weight, and on Alphatype $60 per weight -- spending the 900+ seemed like a bargain -- it included more weights than the typositor or typesetter did.

Most I was ever taken for at one time -- Adobe. They put me on an automatic font release program. One January I came in on a bill for over $1500 -- it was everything I didn't need, old style numbers, mathematical fonts...how do I say it nicely? I was pi**ed.

Si_Daniels's picture

>Has anyone actually purchasedTNR or Times for the past 10 years?

Well, er yes. Times in number 19 on Linotype's sales chart, people are buying more Times licenses than Vag, but slightly less than ITC Conduit.

Dan Gayle's picture

WHY!!!! It doesn't make sense! What possible reason could anyone have for purchasing the most ubiquitous typeface in the history of the world?
It's already on every computer in existence.

Besides that it... it's... it's ugly. There. I said it. I'm not proud.

Maybe Times SHOULD be more expensive. That would take it off of any new bundles of any OS. Then let it retire in piece, except for an occasional use in the forging of military records of presidents.

Si_Daniels's picture

>WHY!!!!

Same reason as Helvetica is their top seller - Non Mac user gets document, presentation, etc., made on Mac, decides to pay $20 rather than reformat the content using another font. You didn't think people license fonts becasue they like them did you? ;-) They want to print out their stuff and get on with their lives.

muzzer's picture

Dan mate, what is wrong with Times? It really is a great piece of design—especially in metal. The book version is pretty neat as well!!

Muzz

Dan Gayle's picture

Too bad neither a metal version or a book version resides in the operating system that I am currently using...

Same reason as Helvetica is their top seller
But that argument doesn't fly with Times since it is on everything already. It's an Open Source typeface even! (Not technically "open source" but it's available freely for open source distributions.

Now, if someone is buying a book weight or some other arcane version, I could totally see that. But TNR Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic? You'd have to be daft.

Si_Daniels's picture

Only Linotype makes "Times" and owns the trademark. Even if apps made it easy to reformat content, you can't be sure it won't reflow or otherwise break - better off spending the twenty quid.

mark 150watt's picture

I don't think fonts should be more expensive. I really like fonts, such as Dolly and Sauna from 'Underware'. They are good fonts, at a really reasonable price. Those, as well as some fonts from OurType ( Versa, for instance ) make me wanna buy the font, and use it in my work. In that way, you keep a good market for typefaces which also increases the quality.

Don McCahill's picture

I'd like cars to be less expensive too. But I suspect that font prices are very much determined by supply and demand. Those who want cheap fonts can buy them. Those who want good fonts, will have to pay for the work that goes into making the good ones.

As for relative costs, in my lifetime fonts have gone from costing about as much as a house (to get a family of Linotype matrices, for instance) to less than I earn in an hour (for a single font).

So I can't complain about font prices.

Typedog's picture

wow there is a lot of high priced fonts!

innovati's picture

when I see a high-priced typeface, I find if I were to really think about it, I wouldn't pay 200$ for it.

For me, something that has a balance between character and utility, like the full Myriad family, or Futura or Univers I could get tons more use out of than any of these expensive typefaces.

aszszelp's picture

Which font is the most expensive right now heavily depends on the daily USD/EUR exchange rate in a volatile currency market... ;-)

Szabolcs

Typedog's picture

@innovati

You are absolutely right about using what you have (Myriad family, or Futura or Univers ) there good fonts. However sometimes one becomes attached too a font so much that their willing to fork over cash for whatever the retailer is asking for them. I have bought a couple fonts that I love and use exclusively.

innovati's picture

I guess in the context of person, the most expensive font is the one you buy that you get the least use out of.

guest's picture

Benton sans family, one computer license, $3200

Florian Hardwig's picture

Well, but that’s only $25 per style, isn’t it?

Sye's picture

like someone mentioned earlier, if you hired a type designer to design you a font, then had a world-wide exclusive on it forever, that would cost a lot.

i wonder how much companies like 3 paid for their world-wide exclusive fonts? i;m guessing it's not cheap, but totally worth it for their branding. (plus miles did a fantastic job! i love verona!)

Werfer's picture

@Simon - have you taken a look at this?

http://www.linotype.com/24-19724/corporatetypedownload.html

As far as I understand, these are just the companies who wish others (like design agencies) to be able to download their corporate fonts. I am quite sure companies like Linotype or Adobe have a huge "secret" list of companies they made fonts for. Guess we'll never know :-)

Sye's picture

@Werfer - i hadn't seen that, interesting...

i once contacted a foundry to see how much a world-wide exclusive license would cost for my work for a custom family of fonts (Roman, Italic, Bold & Bold Italic in sans and serif) and the rough estimate was around $60k if it was all original. For a world-wide exclusive, i think this is quite reasonable.

in regard to 3, some info is here about it: http://www.newlyn.com/work/client/3

i find this kind of work really interesting, and i respect miles a lot.

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