How does Dinamo price fonts?
In 2020, Dinamo introduced a new pricing model that works differently from most publishers. Here’s how and why.
Using valuable typefaces
We believe that individuals, small companies, and institutions should not have to pay the same price for typefaces as large companies. In other words: companies should pay relative to their revenue potential.
Most type foundries follow a use-based pricing model: A font is priced based on how many people access the font files. But imagine a large car company with many departments, where only a small number of employees actually work on computers (a.k.a. the marketing or accounting departments). Now compare this to a small institution, where variety of tasks often need to be handled by the same few people, on the same few computers. See the difference? The small institution ends up paying far more than the big company. We’ve priced this way in the past, but it never felt right.
We reckon that the bigger the size and reach of a company, the bigger the commercial value extracted from a typeface.
With this in mind, we developed a new pricing model. Our fonts are now priced based on the company size of the font’s license owner—the client commissioning the design work—rather than the number of people who use the fonts. We call this value-based pricing.
To summarize, we’ve transitioned from:
Use-based Pricing -> Value-based Pricing
Here’s an example of how we price. The price shifts according to who benefits (i.e. extracts value) the most from the font, so the same font costs less for a small company than it does for a larger company.
|Company Size||Desktop license per font style|
One number to rule them all
Our new pricing attitude makes font licensing simpler for our customers. The steps for buying fonts are quicker and easier to navigate, as you really only need to know one number: Company size.
For Web and App licenses, it’s common industry practice to rely on metrics that are hard to measure, namely Web traffic (as calculated by clicks or views), or App downloads. Talking with customers about web traffic and bandwidth always felt abstract and confusing though, and in the age of flat rates and unlimited data, it also felt outdated. Also, most customers simply don’t know and can’t predict how much traffic a new website or app will receive. All of this convinced us to try simplifying our own font licensing process.
Moving forward, our pricing for all media types will depend on one metric only: the size of the company of the License Owner. To reiterate, company size means: How many people work for a company in total. No other metric is needed.
Six licenses only
Fonts get used in many ways and in different kinds of media, so we offer a bunch of different types of licenses:
- Desktop/print license: you can install the fonts on all of your devices and use them to create printed and digital documents, objects, merchandise, signage, and similar things.
- Logo/wordmark license you can use the fonts to create a logo or wordmark for one brand. If you want to do it for another brand you’ll need to buy another license.
- Social media license you can use the fonts to create design assets for social media channels like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok.
- Web license you can use the fonts on one web domain. There’s no limit to the amount of web traffic.
- App/game license, you can embed the fonts into one app (which could be a mobile app, web app, digital point of sale system, etc.) or game.
- Video license, you can use the fonts to make content that has animated or moving images. This is the license you need if you’re making video content for stuff like YouTube, Netflix, television, movies, commercials, and video billboards.
Who owns the license?
Next, we’ve tweaked who the License Owner is.
Often, a designer purchases typefaces and uses them for one or several clients. Alternatively, an agency purchases fonts, creates work, and shares both—so including the font files—with its client. When we worked as designers in the past, we did the same! But it creates an unfair situation, because it is the client that eventually benefits from the design work. Therefore the client should be the entity that owns the work and licenses to everything involved in a commission.
Our new system is centred around the notion that the License Owner is the client—i.e. the business entity that commissions design work. It’s not the agency or individual creative producing work. You can specify the License Owner during check-out.
We believe that a client, in addition to paying designers decently for their services, should cover all the production costs of a project (meaning, amongst other things: illustration, photography, the printing, materials, and typefaces in use). Referring to the client as the License Owner from the start makes this responsibility clear.
Tip for designers
How to quote and pay for typefaces
- You can select licenses and typefaces, and then generate a quote PDF for downloading to send to yourself or others. This feature helps you transparently communicate costs to your team and client from the get-go.
- We’ve integrated a Share Bag link at the end of the font selection process. Send this link to your client so that they can complete the check-out process. You select the licenses and fonts, and they take care of the payment.
- You can also purchase a license on behalf of your client. During check-out, you have the option to differentiate between Billing Details and License Owner details. Remember: The owner of the license is the client—not the commissioned design agency.
Adding typeface licensing costs to your initial design quote right from the start (alongside photography, printing, your design fee, etc.) helps avoid confusion or problems with clients down-the-line.
Try making the client understand the value that quality typefaces bring to the table, and the many hours and minds that it takes to create them.
Tip for designers
Discounts for Students
We are aware that the cost of typefaces can feel out of reach for some. In order to make our typefaces more accessible and affordable to students, we offer two types of educational discounts and regularly grant discounts to support small cultural projects.
Our Dinamo Student Font Packs bundle together the full files of nine complete Dinamo typeface families for the price of €55 each. Educators are also able to purchase these bundles for educational contexts. Additionally, students can purchase any of our typefaces at a discount of 50% off. Students are able to produce any self-initiated work, both non-commercial and commercial, using these typefaces during the duration of their studies.
If you’re involved in meaningful projects and budgets are tight, you can always reach out to us, explain your situation, and apply for a discount.