Turns Out I Was Wrong

I can admit when I am wrong, and I admit, I was wrong. After reading a very nice comment from Mr. Richard Grefe himself on my previous post, the Adobe® Font Folio® Education Essentials might not be as shady as I had first suspected. As Mr. Grefe states in his comment the AIGA isn’t going to make any money form the deal and there is no small print restricting usage after graduation. And thanks to Mr. Armin Vit at Speak Up, we now have a list of the the font families included in the collection. It is a well rounded collection that will serve students well in school and after graduation.

Only two complaints remain. First, I still find fault with the way Adobe is numbering the fonts. Would it really be so hard to say 25 font families for only $149? That is still just $6 per family and a great deal for the fonts included with the collection. And second, what is the deal with including Rosewood? I guess being able to produce a cowboy retro piece or a Hatch Show Print-esque poster is important. Oh well, nothing is perfect. And to echo the words of Armin, it is a step in the right direction after all.



  1. (Hmmm, not sure why my original comment didn’t get posted, but perhaps something went awry with the web form.)

    I’m the product manager for fonts and typography at Adobe, and I worked closely with the good folks at the AIGA to define which fonts would be included in this collection.

    First, I want to say that, yes, it was an error that we didn’t list the specific fonts on our web site. I noticed this right away, and listed them on my blog less than 24 hours after the collection was announced: http://blogs.adobe.com/typblography/2008/03/ffee.html

    And in fact we got the font listing up on the main Font Folio Education Essentials site before your original blog post even went live. But of course we’re happy that other folks such as Armin Vit are also commenting on it.

    The specific selection of fonts involves a lot of factors. One was to choose fonts that would be useful for student work. Another was to choose fonts that would be representative of different classifications and historical movements in type, for teaching typography. Finally, we wanted to make the collection affordable, which required considering what royalties would be involved for various alternatives.

    So, while you may not like Rosewood or any other wood type designs, given that one of the purposes of the collection is to give a set of fonts that could be used for teaching the history and classification of typography, including a really ornate wood type seemed completely appropriate. Rosewood only accounts for two of the 500 fonts in the collection, so it’s not as if it overwhelms the package.

    I’m sorry you don’t like the way “Adobe is numbering the fonts.” Personally, I’d be happy to mention the number of famillies involved as prominently as the number of fonts, but I’m not on the marketing side. However, you should be aware that the definition of “font” has always been an individual style (though in pre-digital days it also meant a single size such as 10 pt).

    There are other reasons for counting “fonts” instead of only “families.” For example, Myriad Pro Black Italic is a separate font from Myriad Pro Regular. The fact that Myriad Pro has 40 fonts in the full family makes it a lot more functional than a more basic four-font family (or what if we’d been stingy and only put the “regular” font in the package?).

    I sincerely believe that Font Folio Education Essentials is a fine package, and addresses important needs for educators and students. Far from “fleecing” anyone (as in the title of your original posting), Adobe has much slimmer profit margins than usual on this collection, because we thought it was important that this need be filled.

    Best regards,


    Thomas Phinney
    Product Manager
    Fonts & Global Typography
    Adobe Systems

  2. jonrussell said

    How about this Thomas: “…including 25 font families with 500 fonts” or something like that. With all of the copy that goes with marketing releases these days what is 5 or 6 more words? And with the stated goal of the Education Essentials collection to educate design students in the use and history of typography, why not take the opportunity to educate your target audience while you are selling them with the obligatory marketing copy? Two birds with one stone as they say.

    And I don’t have any problems with wood type. The problem is Rosewood comes packaged with the Adobe Creative Suite and I don’t know a single design student that would be purchasing this collection that doesn’t already have Rosewood installed on their machine. Do you know any design students that don’t use Illustrator, Photoshop or InDesign? Rosewood is not the only font in this collection that is duplicated with the Education Essentials collection and Adobe application support fonts. Trajan Pro and Bell Gothic are two other full fonts that are duplicated and these students will also have most of Chaparral Pro, Caslon Pro, Jenson Pro and Myriad Pro as well.

    Why not include families like Joanna or Perpertua so we can teach students about pairing serif and sans serif types by the same designer? The same could have been accomplished with the inclusion of a slab serif like Serifa by Adrian Frutiger or Officina by Erik Spikerman. An appropriate replacement for Chaparral would have been PMN Caecilla, a beautiful modern serif that many design students have never seen.

    It is a good collection, it is a good start and I am sure it took a lot of work to get the price point where it is. Students all over North America (for now, hopefully world wide release in the future) will lay down their cash and get a decent set of fonts. And because of the value, I will probably recommend this collection to my students. But the fact remains that it is not perfect. Good, but not great.

  3. Jon,

    You have a reasonable point about overlap with what’s bundled in the Creative Suite. There is some, and we and AIGA might have considered that in creating the bundle. Instead, it was very much designed to stand on its own.

    As for “Why not include families like Joanna or Perpertua so we can teach students about pairing serif and sans serif types by the same designer?” There are two answers. First, Joanna and Perpetua are typefaces we license from Monotype Imaging, and involve royalties (ditto your other suggestions), and we had to pick our royalty-bearing typefaces very carefully because of a desire to keep the price down. Second, with Myriad in the collection, we have a sans serif co-designed by Robert Slimbach, who also designed a number of the serifed typefaces in the set.



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