Type-Land Security

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.)

3 thoughts on “Type-Land Security

  1. James Puckett

    From Zapf’s autobiography Alphabet Stories, p. 72:
    “The firm producing this ›Book Antiqua‹ was a speaker on behalf of the ›Anti Piracy Campaign‹. This caused me to resign in Antwerp as a founding member of ATypI after 36 years. 
    The firm he referred to was Monotype.

  2. James Richards

    Is it true that Hermann Zapf resigned from this organizaton due to its failure to proect his type from that which was approved by this organizaton?