What is Monotype Fonts?
Monotype Fonts is our service for font discovery, licensing and management for agencies, businesses, and enterprise customers. It’s an extensive creative workflow tool that provides a solution to the complexities of using and licensing fonts. It’s where creatives browse a wide variety of fonts, sync them to the cloud for access in their preferred design applications, and then prototype with the fonts in the tools of their choosing. Once they’ve made a decision about which font they’ll use for a particular project, they then “name” (select) which fonts are licensed and deployed in various production projects. It allows a company’s legal team to ensure the company is in compliance with license terms of their fonts. It enables a company’s IT team to keep track of font licenses and font users across global teams.
View a demo of Monotype Fonts:
Why do companies find Monotype Fonts valuable?
Monotype Fonts allows companies to license fonts in a holistic way, while enabling more efficient font discovery and licensing management. For admins, there are advanced management features, perfect for complex organizations that span multiple brands and geographies. With Monotype Fonts, legal teams can have peace of mind that their licensing needs are covered and they aren’t violating any EULAs. IT teams can keep track of font software in use across the company. Designers have access to a fantastic selection of high quality fonts for unlimited prototyping possibilities. Brands have lots of flexibility; some Monotype Fonts plans include the ability to “swap” out production fonts quarterly.
While the traditional way of licensing through e-commerce sites is still valuable for smaller companies and individual creators, businesses need a different solution. Monotype Fonts provides a much simpler way for businesses to access and manage fonts. Large companies often manage hundreds - if not thousands - of fonts and licenses; having individual employees buying each font a-la-carte via e-commerce often leads to inevitable accidental under-licensing. Many simply don’t know what fonts their company is using. We figured this out through lots of user testing and research, and Monotype Fonts was developed to solve the problems faced by our largest customers.
I’m confused. I thought this was Mosaic?
Monotype Fonts was previously named Mosaic. The name changed in November 2020. We renamed it to simplify the customer experience when introducing customers to Monotype. Font licensing is already so complex, so simplifying the name meant one less item to explain. It’s the same product, just with a new name (and a ton of great new features!).
How do I earn money from my fonts being in Monotype Fonts?
Before we get into the details, it is important to understand that we’re selling term-based licensing, not fonts. In general, customers are purchasing the rights to license fonts, and they may or may not know up front which fonts they’ll need for the duration of their plan.
We receive two kinds of revenue from customers for Monotype Fonts. Customers pay an annual fee to access Monotype Fonts and have the ability to sync any font for prototyping, and then an additional licensing fee is issued based on term length and number of fonts included in the plan (see the handy breakdown on monotypefonts.com). As a result, this means you also earn multiple types of revenue from Monotype Fonts. When a client syncs fonts in order to prototype with them, you’ll get a portion of their “access fee” because they used your fonts through their access to Monotype Fonts. When a client is finished prototyping and decides to use your fonts in production, you’ll get revenue for the actual licensing of the font(s).
Here’s an example (these are all fake numbers simplified for the purposes of the example):
Company ABC licenses Monotype Fonts for 5 users and 5 production fonts for 1 year. They don’t decide which fonts they’re going to use up front.
Let’s say each user costs $100 per month. If a user syncs 4 fonts in one month, each of those fonts would then get allocated $25 in revenue. Maybe another user in the plan only syncs one font, so that font gets allocated $100 in revenue. At the end of the quarter, the foundry whose fonts are synced gets a royalty on this allocated revenue based on user activity. (Keep in mind that this could be pennies if a user decides to sync hundreds of fonts.)
After a while, these users have prototyped with the fonts they’ve synced, and then decide which font or fonts they’ll use for their campaign. The 5 unnamed production fonts they purchased originally cost $8,000 each for their particular licensing package. At the end of a quarter, they tell Monotype which fonts they’ve chosen to use in production. Each of those “named fonts” are then allocated the licensing revenue portion for that quarter; in our example, this is $2,000 for that quarter ($8,000/4 quarters) in revenue, and royalties are paid out to each foundry based on that.
In some plans, customers can swap fonts each quarter, so Company ABC may choose to keep the same production fonts named the next quarter (and those foundries then receive royalties on another $2,000 licensing fee), or the customer swaps to different fonts owned by different foundries (and different foundries may then receive royalties on that $2,000 licensing fee).
How does Monotype Fonts benefit my foundry?
With Monotype Fonts, your fonts are in the hands of creatives at top global brands. Not only do top brands have access to your fonts, the fonts are very easy to deploy since licensing happens prior to the creative process. Monotype Fonts removes the typical licensing roadblocks for designers at large companies; once your fonts are in Monotype Fonts, designers can design with them and easily deploy them in production environments without expense reports or other time consuming paperwork.
The orders are term-based and renewable, not perpetual, so customers pay to use your fonts over time. Since customers using Monotype Fonts are different from traditional e-commerce users, Monotype Fonts revenue will supplement e-commerce revenue.
The business model of Monotype Fonts is designed to ensure proper font licensing; it’s good for the type industry as a whole.
How and when am I paid royalties for Monotype Fonts revenue?
Revenue from Monotype Fonts is paid in your quarterly earnings from Monotype. These payments are sent to the payment method you have set up in your account. You’ll receive a PDF and CSV statement from email@example.com 15-30 days prior to the payment.
Within these statements, you’ll see one line for your share of the Monotype Fonts access fee, which includes revenue from your fonts synced by users for prototyping use. You’ll see revenue from fonts named for production as one line per font so you know which of your fonts are being licensed and their associated revenue. Read more about royalty statements. We’re currently in the process of building a new sales reporting tool in Monotype Font Platform (yay!) which will reflect the way we do business today and be a much better experience than the legacy statements you receive today. ETA for this tool is the end of 2021.
What can I expect to earn for my fonts being in Monotype Fonts?
Your revenue depends most on the popularity of your fonts, not your company size or the number of fonts you have. In general, you should expect earnings to be uneven; some quarters will be more, some will be less. For most foundries, this should be viewed as supplemental revenue to your e-commerce sales, unless your fonts are already well-known and in high demand, then could be significantly higher and more consistent. Revenue allocated for syncs (when a user syncs your font for prototyping purposes) will be lower, depending on the number of users syncing your fonts. Revenue from deployments, (when customers tell us the fonts they’re using in production) will be less frequent, but much larger because this is actual licensing revenue. In short, it’s hard to predict, but as we continue to monitor customers' use and the product becomes more mature, we aim to be able to model and predict royalties.
Because Monotype Fonts is software sold by our salespeople to enterprise customers, it follows the same pattern as large enterprise software sales in general. This means you’ll see more booked revenue at the end of each quarter (March, June, September, and December). This also means that you will almost always see larger earnings at the end of the year (Q3 and Q4) than the beginning of the year (Q1 and Q2). This pattern exists in many industries that serve large businesses, not just in the type industry, due to the way companies' timelines and budgets are structured. This also means that the timing of revenue does not always reflect font usage. In contrast, e-commerce font sales are much more consistent over the year because customers buying fonts through e-commerce sites are different from those requiring more comprehensive solutions such as Monotype Fonts. Revenue for e-commerce orders consists of a higher quantity of orders at a much smaller value per order. Also, e-commerce revenue is impacted by holidays and vacations rather than quarterly business cycles. For example, you’ll see fewer sales around major US holidays (like the 4th of July, Memorial Day, or Easter), during the summer months when people are taking vacation, and on weekends when people are not at their computers.
What do customers pay for Monotype Fonts?
You can see our pricing tiers and add-on prices on monotypefonts.com. Larger orders fall into the Pro or Unlimited plans and are configurable based on the company’s needs and licensing history, and are typically in line with the predefined prices for add-ons listed on the site.
Orders are term-based and invoiced yearly. Most orders are 3-5 years. Monotype Fonts is a subscription in that revenue is recurring, however it is not a typical subscription like Netflix or Spotify. Companies pay for the subscription to Monotype Fonts, not individual users. Companies often work with Monotype to deploy Monotype Fonts for multiple teams, projects, and regions. As Monotype Fonts is a term-based enterprise solution, customers cannot cancel their subscription anytime they want (like you can with Netflix, Spotify, or Adobe).
How do customers buy Monotype Fonts?
Customers buy Monotype Fonts online at monotypefonts.com or by working with someone from our enterprise sales teams. Our salespeople are located around the world, and work with customers in many different languages. Monotypefonts.com is localized for the US, UK, France, and Germany, with more languages to come.
What customers use Monotype Fonts?
Monotype Fonts is used by a broad spectrum of brands and agencies across a range of industries, from small design studios all the way up to large international corporations. Our customers include major streaming platforms, automotive brands, consumer packaged goods companies, and prominent marketing and design firms.
How is Monotype Fonts different from Adobe Fonts?
Adobe Fonts is a feature to enhance Adobe’s other creative products, and used by anyone with Adobe subscription.
Monotype Fonts is our service for font discovery, licensing and management. It is a holistic solution that includes font licensing, which makes it different from Adobe Fonts. In order for individuals to access the fonts available through Monotype Fonts, they (or their company) must already have purchased an account and be permitted login rights. Revenue from Monotype Fonts does not necessarily reflect usage and is allocated multiple ways: up-front access to the fonts available through Monotype Fonts, for prototyping, and/or for “named fonts” which customers deploy and license in production projects.
What foundries are currently in Monotype Fonts?
- Adobe Originals
- Laura Worthington
- Letter Omega Type Foundry
- Mark Simonson Studio
- Mika Melvas
- OGJ Type Design
- Paulo Goode
- Set Sail Studios
- The Northern Block
- XYZ Type
How often are new foundries added to Monotype Fonts?
Our goal is to balance keeping the Monotype Fonts inventory at a high quality standard with making sure that customers see fresh font content in their account. Therefore we do not have a set schedule of new foundry additions; instead we monitor demand by customers and add new foundries where we see a customer need for certain fonts. Monotype Fonts is a curated offering; we only add new foundries if it adds value to Monotype Fonts users. We will not flood Monotype Fonts with fonts from multiple newly-added foundries at the same time, and we spread out any new foundry additions so that each foundry added has a chance to shine. All new foundries added to Monotype Fonts are featured on the home page and in marketing emails sent to all Monotype Fonts users.
How can my fonts be included in Monotype Fonts?
At this time, Monotype Fonts is invitation-only. Please read the criteria below, and if this seems like your foundry, feel free to reach out and we are happy to discuss opportunities!
1️⃣ Your foundry must be on the latest distribution agreement.
2️⃣ Your fonts must be professional.
All fonts included in Monotype Fonts are well-designed and high-quality. Foundries whose fonts are included in Monotype Fonts thoroughly test their fonts before releasing them and properly encode the fonts to meet modern OpenType standards. We only add foundries that have fonts with very low instances of customer support issues or refunds on our e-commerce sites.
3️⃣ Your fonts must be in-demand.
All fonts included in Monotype Fonts meet our customers needs. This could happen a few different ways. We include fonts that are very well-known and consistently in demand. However, we also include fonts from lesser-known foundries because they fill a specific niche need for our customers. For example, we may include a foundry that specializes in a specific style of fonts. We also include foundries that produce fonts that have extensive language coverage in key languages important to our global customers. Or we may include a foundry that doesn’t have any hits yet but are producing fonts that are fresh, edgy, and setting trends.
4️⃣ Your foundry must have a strong brand.
A foundry in Monotype Fonts has a thoughtfully designed brand that tells a story that resonates with customers. Strong brands are often recognized by customers because they have a proven track record of making great fonts and have attractive imagery, unique content, and compelling storytelling accompanying their fonts.
How do I add my fonts to Monotype Fonts?
Once you’re included in Monotype Fonts, any fonts you upload through Monotype Font Platform will be added to Monotype Fonts around the same time they are released to our e-commerce sites.
Can I get a demo account for Monotype Fonts?
Sure! You can do a 14-day trial online. Visit https://www.monotypefonts.com/ to get started.