If you ever wondered where that remarkable line of fonts on your word processing software came from, wonder no more. Linotype.com is one of the major typeface companies in the world, holding the rights to such legendary styles as the Helvetica, Frutiger, and Univers typeface families (they come in families, or didn’t you know?)
The company provides its customers with superior quality typographic products and services. And who are these customers? Well, any word processing software that wants to use a registered typeface will have to pay a (usually vanishingly small) royalty to the owner of that typeface.
And along with those major ongoing software transactions, the company engages in more active commerce with brand managers, designers, publishers, IT administrators and product developers. If you want a distinctive typeface to help distinguish you product or service from the competition, you will likely find yourself perusing the typographical offerings of Linotype.com.
The company is the inheritor of a proud and distinguished history. As we all know (just kidding), Ottmar Mergenthaler was the inventor of the type setting machine, a breakthrough that soon became known as the Linotype. It was quickly adopted by newspapers around the world, including the one Benjamin Franklin operated in Philadelphia.
Tinkerers around the world, but primarily in Germany, thereafter developed a number of different typefaces for use in books and newspapers. You could regard them as the infrastructure producers for the Internet of their day. Typeface, however, is a design area that has transferred seamlessly from printing machine to the computer age. We will need fonts, after all, for as long as we continue to read and write.
The Linotype library has grown to be one of the most highly regarded font libraries in the world, and it is continually expanded with new designs. The firm maintains a partnership program, and actively invites submissions of new typeface designs for possible inclusion in its library.
So if you are a designer, you might want to consider expanding your craft to include typefaces. We’ll be examining the partnering program that the company offers, which offers both exclusive and non-exclusive licensing, later in the program.
Well, their products are the As, Bs, and Cs, and all the way to Zs, of our world, although you have to remember that with typefaces, numbers and quite a few symbols are included as well. Although the firm is not a large one, they have offices in Germany, the U.S., the U.K, and Asia, and they have four font licensing professionals on hand to help you. Their enterprise sales team can make presentations on all their available fonts, and works with ad agencies, design firms, publishers, printers (of course), educational institutions and corporations.
If a particular registered font strikes your commercial fancy for use in marketing or other commercial materials, you may need to secure a license for its use. With Linotype, you get a one-stop shop for all of your font licensing needs.
And if you have created a font, and wish to market it, the same one-stop-shop logic holds true. The firm’s system allows font owners to maximize revenue opportunities, and protect their font software intellectual property. The company’s staff are experts in navigating the complicated procedures involved in licensing a font to, for example, software developers, hardware manufacturers, and corporate IT departments.
Educational institutions are provided a 20% discount on font products that they decide to utilize, and the firm makes clear that this discount is offered to encourage education in the correct use of font software according to applicable licensing terms. They also offer a scholarship to a University student, and contact the firm for details as to this ongoing scholarship program.
Now, the prices involved in these transactions tend to be negotiated. Linotype.com can act as a broker between licensors and licensees, and they will walk you through the pricing and royalty amounts in a way that will assure you that you are paying, or being paid, proper market rates for your use, or sale, of a property that, let’s face it, most people do not buy or sell every day.
Assuming you are a font-owning licensor, the company’s services will allow you to reap profits from licenses to designers of e-books, Blu-ray titles, video games, application software and a high volume of other products, and you can be certain that you will gain market rates, at the very least, for the licensing of your property.
The firm considers both type users and type designers to be its customers. The company supports type designers by allowing them to choose the model and Web font licensing that meets their needs. Designer clients are offered a business model that is based on subscriptions, which will permit them to secure an ongoing revenue stream that will continue for as long as their licensees continue using their fonts.
The company has created its own proprietary system to created TrueType fonts that are optimized for Windows users, which then generate the necessary Web font formats. They can handle any applicable software file as an input, and all of their Web fonts are reviewed by typographic engineers to ensure they satisfy exacting quality standards. We have to wonder if this process wasn’t easier in the era of actual metal typefaces, and typewriters.
The firm has catered to its designer base b creating one simple font submission process, through which the designer only need to supply Linotype.com with his or her products once, and the company will then supply those products to each of its websites (it has many affiliated sites). Their team will go to work for their font designer and font foundry partners.
The firm also regularly promotes new font releases to its newsletter subscribers, who form a loyal and font-happy band of fans and aficionados of all the many different types of, well, type. If you are a font designer (or, inspired by this article, decide to become one), the firm will promote your products, and put its affiliate relationships with thousands of websites to work supporting your products, driving traffic to their site to review your font offerings. None of this, by the way, will cost the font designer a dime.
And for font makers who are interested in working with the company, they will work with you either through exclusive distribution, or through non-exclusive distribution. It’s your choice. The firm’s website announces that they are always on the lookout for new talents and typefaces, and their leadership meets every three months to review and select fonts to be included in their library. The odds of being included sure beat buying a lottery ticket, and those of you who are artistically inclined, which is to say in the sense of graphic artistry, may wish to consider this opportunity.
We looked, but we couldn’t find any. The company tends to work with highly dedicated and serious cyber-craftspeople who love not only the written word, but the written letters that make up each written word. What comments we found endorsed the highly professional service that the firm provides, and the highly advantageous opportunities that the firm makes available to designers and font customers alike.
Who would have thought that the world of fonts was buzzing with such activity? And for those of you who are still not convinced, we’ve saved one of the most impressive statistics for last. The firm receives over 40 million visits from over 200 countries annually to its leading affiliated websites. That’s a great deal of activity indeed, and it casts the font industry in a new light.