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Design It Yourself
January 19, 2009

No doubt you've seen those online Flash-based applications which allow people to create their own designs, be it logos, business cards or signs. Everyone and their grandma can now choose fonts, colors and clipart to create their masterpiece.

Well, from time to time I receive requests from the owners of such online applications wishing to add Letterhead Fonts to the list of fonts available. I always say no. In fact, it is prohibited in our License Agreement. 

This evening, I received a request from a company called "Uppercase Living", wishing to use Letterhead Fonts in a Flash-based design application for their customers (apparantly to make vinyl signs for the home). To hear them say it, they have agreements with other foundries who allow them to use the fonts for a flat annual fee. No thanks.
I just don't think its fair to the font designer that countless people get to use his font at a discounted rate. Furthermore, it cheapens the role of the graphic designer, who's job used to be creating these designs for people. Letterhead Fonts knows that these designers are our lifeblood, so I could never allow Letterhead Fonts to be a part of something so obviously wrong.

And from a purely selfish standpoint, because of the poor designs created (and lack of visual kerning), it makes the fonts look like junk. Letterhead Fonts are designed by and for professional designers. Our reputation in many ways, relies on the designers who use our fonts. Kind of a "we make you look good, you make us look good" arrangement.

See, its one thing if an amateur designer purchases our fonts and creates a bad design. That is his perogative. But it is quite another if we encourage that kind of thing. Graphic designers have a responsibility to apply the rules of good design and to help non-designers understand them.

Here are two screenshots of the tutorial for the "Uppercase Living" application which demonstrates to the first time user how to twist and turn the fonts into a big flaming sack of dog doo...

View the entire tutorial at: