Fonts to be sold on Ebay

An innovative approach to selling typeface design will be pioneered tomorrow by Melbourne design group Letterbox.

The group will begin the auction of its latest typeface Bisque on Ebay tomorrow. According to Letterbox, it will be the first time the rights to a font family have been sold on-line in this way.

The successful bidder, who will be announced on 27 April, will inherit the rights to the exclusive, international use of Bisque for 12 months. The day was chosen to co-incide with World Graphics Day, which commemorates the founding of Icograda, which set itself up to be the world body for graphic design in 1963.

The flourished sans typeface, which is described as having ‘fluid, script-like letterforms’, took six months for Letterbox to create. It was designed by Niels Oeltjen and Stephen Banham.

Banham explains that the idea behind the auction is to find a new way of earning money from typeface design.

‘There are basically two ways that a type designer earns a living,’ he says. ‘The most common way is to sell the fonts directly to customers en masse either via a font retailer or your own website. The other way is by being commissioned, which usually requires a brief to create a customised typeface. With the international rights to Bisque going up for public auction, we are toying with a a third way.’

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