Where is Christian Robertson of Betatype?

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Stephen Gilmore's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2010 - 7:46am
Where is Christian Robertson of Betatype?
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I've been trying to get in touch with Christian Robertson of Betatype for the last 2 months. Long story short I purchased multiple cuts of the font Pill Gothic for a large scale project. I work in the broadcast industry in Canada and need some modifications made to the font. They are as follows:

1. Convert the Open type to true type
2. Tweak the kerning on a number of character sets
3. Replace the lowercase "a" with the alternate a

Chris agreed to make these modifications but has been missing in action for the last two months. I've sent numerous emails with no response. Our deadlines are fast approaching and I need to get in contact with him. If anyone can provide me with any help or direction it would be much appreciated.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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>Chris agreed to make these modifications but has been missing in action for the last two months.

I guess the obvious thing to do would be to bypass the designer if you can legally. Did the designer sign an agreement with you to make these mods? If he did you might want to check the contract section on breach of contract and see if it allows you to source these modifications through a third party. If it does I might be inclined to hire a professional type designer to make these modifications.

If there's no formal agreement, check the EULA and see if that allows end-user modifications. If it doesn't I would find a different font. You don't want to risk violating the EULA to which you agreed on a high profile broadcast project... http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/08/nbc-sued-over-fonts_n_314394.html

John Nolan's picture
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Joined: 6 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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The BetaType's EULA offered at MyFonts says:
" You may modify the Fonts for Your own purposes, but the copyright remains with Betatype, and any modified Fonts may only be uses on those computers for which You have purchased a license. You may not commission a third party to modify the Fonts without first gaining written permission from Betatype."

However, the Veer EULA prohibits mods, directing you to contact VEER if mods are required.

So, one question is, where did you purchase it? Did you save your EULA?

Stephen Gilmore's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2010 - 7:46am
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The fonts were purchased from The FontShop.

John Nolan's picture
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Joined: 6 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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Generally speaking, FontShop doesn't allow user modifications without permission... still, it appears Chris did give permission, so you should probably contact them. I believe they can do the work, if they may.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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FontShop would be your best bet. They can likely help track down the AWOL designer or do the work if you want them to.

Cheers, Si

Stephen Gilmore's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2010 - 7:46am
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Unfortunately The FontShop will not make the modifications without Betatype's permission. They have spent the last month trying to get in contact with him but have had no luck. They have basically said that we should look at another font and feel they have something in their library that is close match to Pill Gothic. At this time, I'm not big on this solution.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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The only legal alternate I can see is to license the font from MyFonts and fix it yourself, or find someone within your organization (the MyFonts EULA prohibits 3rd parties) to fix it.

It's kind of like in the movies where the flight attendant asks the passengers if anyone on board knows how to fly a plane - the modifications you mention all seem pretty easy, so if you have the right tools a professional can likely talk you through getting your project safely on the ground.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
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Hope everything is ok with Christian.

Stephen Gilmore's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2010 - 7:46am
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Sil... thanks for your input. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense. I guess i should start looking at software that can make these modifications.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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>Hope everything is ok with Christian.

+1. Hopefully he's just super busy with his day job. Not being evil and taking down the iPhone is a 24/7 occupation... http://christianrobertson.com/

>thanks for your input. Your suggestion makes a lot of sense. I guess i should start looking at software that can make these modifications.

No worries. Build section might be the place to post any issues. Best of luck.

Stephen Gilmore's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2010 - 7:46am
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UPDATE: Christian has given The FontShop permission to make the modifications. Perhaps he saw this tread:)

Thanks for all your input everyone.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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>Perhaps he saw this tread:)

Typophile, smoking out type designers since 2001 :-)

Maxim's picture
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010 - 3:40pm
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Stephen,
I've sent you a direct message via this site, please contact me if you did not see it.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Joined: 25 Feb 2004 - 11:00am
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"Don't tread on me" :-)

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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Theunis de Jong's picture
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Joined: 22 Apr 2008 - 5:06pm
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"Ill bite"? An i'll omen.

Christian's picture
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Joined: 16 Apr 2005 - 10:57am
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I was a little surprised when someone pointed me to this thread this morning. I don't need to get into the details of our one short phone conversation, but there was no contract or agreement. I did, however, explain that Stephen could have anyone make modifications to the fonts under Betatype's EULA. For the record, the Betatype license is extremely liberal with font modifications. It basically says, make any modifications you want, as long as you use the modified font under the terms of the original license.

Kudos to the folks at FontShop for taking an ethical stance on Font mods. I'm sure they will do a great job with any required changes. Again, this is an odd conversation for a public forum, but if you have any additional questions, feel free to email or direct message through Typophile, Betatype or Twitter @bttp. At any rate, I'm glad that this could get sorted out, and thanks for using Pill Gothic. I'm interested to see the results.

Frank ADEBIAYE's picture
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Joined: 29 Apr 2007 - 4:46pm
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@christian: congratulations, dear fellow, for your liberal licencing approach, we do have something likewise at VTF (www.vtf.fadebiaye.com) (http://www.fadebiaye.com/type/vtf_policy.html). Such trade type manner are of course & sadly much too rare.

Stephen Gilmore's picture
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Joined: 14 Sep 2010 - 7:46am
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Thanks Christian for allowing FontShop to do the modifications. This is much appreciated! We will be working out a licensing agreement with Fontshop in the next week. After spending hours of font research i came across Pill Gothic Gothic and felt it was a great fit for our needs. It's a beautifully designed font.

I'll be sure to send you some examples of our work.

Simon Daniels's picture
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Joined: 11 Apr 2002 - 6:37pm
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Christian, glad you're okay and that things worked out for the customer.

Cheers, Si