Replicating someone else’s layout in new edition

I wish Typophile had been revived a year ago when this came up for me, but the question is relevant again.

I’m doing e-book layout for a series the author is reissuing after rights reversion. Is it inappropriate for me to copy design decisions made by the first-edition typographer, like chapter-heading fonts and section-break fleurons? (With credit, of course; something like, “Typeset by Joel C. Salomon; original layout by Sam Designer”.) The first-edition designer was hired by the (now-defunct) publisher, not the author, if that matters?

How say you?

Font Usage & Licensing Survey - Respondents Needed!

I am collecting information on the ethics and legality of digital font usage for my undergraduate thesis using a survey. I'm focusing on students, instructors, and professionals who are involved in the design community. I've received over 80 responses so far, but am looking for as many as I can obtain, so please feel free to share with your friends or colleagues!

If you would like to offer any additional resources/information in regards to these issues, please contact me at:

The link is below, and the survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. Thank you in advance!

Adjust billing on a layout project?


Hey, Typophiles! Turning to you for advice: I bill by the project, and have just finished laying out a report that I billed at 2.25 days. Only problem is that (for once!) I overestimated how long it would take – I really worked about 1.5 "days" on the project, including admin.

My question: do I follow-up once the project closes and adjust my fee downward, making clear the reason? Or do I take the money and run, since we all agreed on the scope and the rate in advance?

Ethical boundaries of typeface revivals


I know this topic is far from new here, but I'm trying to figure out what consensus there is on this issue, if any, amongst type designers and professional type consumers. As someone who is just trying to get started in the trade, I'm anxious to get a feel for the acceptable boundaries.

What to do? Client wants me to use a font I don't have, but I can't bill for it and buying it negates the profit.

I picked up a client that uses Optima as their standard face. Despite it's ubiquity, I don't actually own Optima. It's a small email blast, so billing for the font would send the client elsewhere. Likewise, purchasing the Optima family would negate my profits.

Is there an ethical and legal solution here that still lets me make money on the project?

Can I obtain and use Optima for free (like a printer does) for use solely on this project because the client has already purchased it?

Any ideas out there?