Sighting: Buccaneer in Starbucks
It seems our fonts have invaded the world of “corporate coffee.” Earlier this week, while picking up a coffee for my daughter at the local Starbucks I noticed that they were selling mugs labeled “Austin,” presumably in an effort to make them seem less corporate and generic and more tied in to our local culture.
Having no larger interest in coffee or its marketing, the interesting thing to me was that the font they picked for the word “Austin” was our Buccaneer font, one of the featured fonts in our Howard Pyle collection. Even more interesting was that Starbucks, which turned a profit of over $150 million last quarter, apparently as a result of radical cost-cutting measures. Sadly one of the areas where they appear to be economizing is in the graphic design department, because based on subtle hints in the appearance of the letters it’s clear that they are using the shareware version of the font released way back in about 1994 rather than springing lose $24 from their corporate profits to actually pay for the font.
When Buccaneer was first released as a shareware font on AOL it had a very poorly executed capital “A” which is stood out like a sore thumb. It was quickly replaced in every commercial release of the font, including the version shipped to those who registered the shareware with a different version of the “A” which fits in better with the rest of the characters. As is the nature of the internet, that old version is still circulating 15 years later, probably stripped of its documentation and maybe even the headers with the registration info.
Starbucks or their design minions are hardly the first people to use a font without doing due diligence and checking to make sure they had a legitimate version of the font, but it seems ironic given their enormous profits and mercenary corporate image — perhaps doubly ironic that they should be trying to endear themselves to the Austin community while exploiting the work of a member of that community.
October 12, 2009 | Filed Under Uncategorized
New Font: BigBlok
A great many years ago when working in game publishing I had a real fascination with doing titles in a strong, super-bold font called Bolt Bold. The truth is I rather overused it. In doing some research I find it on more than a dozen different game books I wrote in the early 80s, all quite collectable and out of print today.
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Escargot is based on lettering from the cover of an early pulp novel I came across a couple of months ago. It's a strong example of a distinctive style of sign and poster lettering from the 1930, characterized by super high contrast between the weighting on the le[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Our Froissart font was first released in 2000 as part of our Medieval Fonts and Art package. It is an accurate recreation of the Littera Bastarda calligraphic style which was popular in the 14th and 15th centuries as gothic styles were losing popularity and there was a demand for s[...]
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BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Yancey is a new font based on a hand-lettered design by Samuel Welo in the late 1920s. It is very much in the tradition of Art Deco designs of that period and designed for decorative titles of poster design uses. Yancey includes two versions of the character set,[...]
BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Edifice is a decorative titling font based on samples of lettering by J. M. Bergling. It has an architectural, constructed look to it. Very well suited to sign and poster design. It's stylish but still readable and clear. Edifice includes a full uppercase charac[...]
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BUY NOW TRY DEMO Custom Preview Squiffy is a fun font. It has a background in arts and crafts style font design, but rather than the regular, architectural character forms and arrangements, the characters are wild and irregular and highly varied. There are two distinct versions of every character, with[...]
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I'm in Washington DC this week attending Typecon. The Society of Typographic Aficionados official convention. There are all sorts of programs and presentations with notable typographers and designers appearing as speakers. As well as exhibits and new products to see. I'm merely going as a humble attendee because [more]
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- Silent Film Font Collection
- The Colonial Fonts Collection
- New Font: Carillon
- Arts & Crafts Collection