Type designs, like most intellectual property, are subject to pirating. Alter a nuance, change a counter, give the type a slightly different name, and voila!—a new face on an old body. In 1966, the typographer, printer, and historian of printing and type John Dreyfus (1918–2002) wrote a report titled The Association Typographique Internationale and the International Protection of Type Designs. The Association Tyographique Internationale, or ATypI, was always at the forefront of this sticky issue. The reason for this report, Dreyfus noted, was because “At present, a new type design can be copied cheaply by photography and can be ready for sale within a matter of days.” And this before the age of digitization.
Below is the report in full as it appeared in a small booklet. I considered retyping the text, but I think it’s more immediate to read it as it was given to the Wynkyn de Worde Society and the members of ATypI.
(Also see “How Do I Love Me” an exclusive interview between Ego and Narcissism on yesterday’s Nightly Daily Heller.)