Chank Blog


New Complete Font Library Needs a Name
April 26, 2010, 11:37 am
Filed under: Font News

Hi, can you help me come up with a catchy, smart name for my new complete library fontpack?

The complete Chank Font library currently has over 300 fonts in it. They’re mostly display faces, but they come in lots of styles, from handwriting to retro to script to grunge to experimental. Lots of range, diversity and personality in there. Since it’s go so many fonts in it, it’ll probably cost over $1000, so I guess it’s not aimed at small business; more of a Big Business fontpack really. Past complete library fontpacks from Chank Co have been called The Legacy Collection, The ALL Fontpack, the Hot 100 and the ever-popular Dentalpak.

Don’t know exactly what I’m gonna call this one, but I’d sure appreciate some suggestions. If you’ve got a great idea for a name, send it to me via Twitter (@chankfonts) or the Facebook “Chank Fonts” group (don’t know how to link to it, but you can find it). If you come up with the name, I’m sure I’ll send you something nice. Just thought I’d reach out to you since you are so smart. Thanks!

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BUILDING GREAT BRANDS, PROMOTING TYPEFACES AS AN ARTFORM
April 23, 2010, 11:45 am
Filed under: Font News

The difference between a mission statement and a vision statement is that a mission statement focuses on a company’s present state while a vision statement focuses on a company’s future. Every business should have a mission statement, both as a way of ensuring that everyone in the organization is “on the same page” and to serve as a baseline for effective business planning. (from About.com)

With that in mind, I put on my new glasses and updated my Chank Co Vision Statement for the new decade. Hope you like it!



Webfont Embedding Comes to Life!
April 12, 2010, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Font News, iPad, Webfonts

Such a thrill to see the new HTML5 “@font-face” standard being adopted so smoothly. The new web standards and webfont delivery techniques are just now starting to really change the way the www works. Websites are embedding fonts in viewer’s browsers, allowing them to see a broader selection of real fonts, displayed in the html of the web pages as selectable, scalable, searchable text. So smart and simple, once you learn how to do it, and so much more elegant than saving gif or jpg pictures of words for headlines and display type. That’s kinda silly.

Hundreds of websites are now using my fonts through the @font-face font call. The biggest proponent of the new webfonts is probably WordPress, which allows their 10 million users to easily implement Typekit fonts in their blogs. I’ve seen lots of WordPress sites using my fonts, and that’s just super. And just like my traditional print and desktop fonts, there are both free and commercial versions of the fonts that available for @font-face licensing through Typekit.

Different Chank Fonts are available for web embedding from a few different service providers. SF-based Typekit is the most popular, because they’ve got some of those smart people who worked with Twitter and Google previously. Plus they have the most attractive website (designed by Jason Santa Maria).

But there’s also MN-based Kernest who offers a thoughtful and extensive selection of opensource fonts. Another newcomer is Fontspring which offers the webfont service bundled with desktop (print) versions of the fonts for you to use in your offline designs. Different distributors offer different selections of Chank Fonts, but I hope you’ll find something you like from these new webfont service sites.

The new font-embedding services don’t work so well on mobile devices and the iPad just yet, but I have faith that they will some day soon. Until then, start using webfonts now! That’ll make your web site smarter looking. Here are my pages at some font-embedding service sites:

Typekit: http://typekit.com/foundries/chank-co

Kernest: http://chank.kernest.com/fonts

Fontspring: http://www.fontspring.com/foundry/chank-fonts



Unboxing an iPad
April 5, 2010, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Font News, iPad


It’s the sound effects I’m most proud of. See if you can hear the hidden golf swing.



Ampersand Font Sets Sail for Haiti
February 16, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Font News, Non-Profit

Font Aid IVThe Haitian benefit font “Coming Together” is now available! Can a font make the world a better place? “Coming Together” is a new fundraiser font to help raise money for earthquake relief in Haiti. The font is part of FONT AID IV and all money from the sale of the font goes to Doctors Without Borders. The font consists entirely of ampersands, representing the theme of coming together, featuring artwork by almost 400 designers from 37 countries. Not only is it a font with a good cause, but it’s also a very functional and helpful font. Go go get it now.It’s available from MyFonts, Veer, FontShop and Ascender.



MY BRILLIANT MARKETING IDEA – CHARGING FOR FREEFONTS
January 26, 2010, 8:35 am
Filed under: Font News

It’s only a week into testing out my new $1.99 per font price point, but I gotta say the response to the change is a resounding “meh.” No big upside surprise, but nothing really bad happened either. A couple fonts were reduced from $49 to $1.99, but mostly it was free fonts that were taken out of free circulation and priced up to two bucks. I figured $1.99 is the sweet spot for iPhone apps, so I might try that with my fonts. Seems to be that’s the cost that people will buy something without thinking too hard about it. Sure would be nice if there were more impulse buyers in the font world. Or if they sold fonts at the iTunes store.

Needless to say, the number of downloads a font receives drops dramatically when the price goes from free to $1.99. A popular freefont that might’ve gotten 10 downloads a day for free, might receive just one or zero downloads per day as a pay font. Overall transactions at my website went from a daily average of about 30 to less than 10. Less people going through my checkout process (which you have to do to download a freefont now) means there are fewer opportunities for people to join my opt-in mailing list, so that’s a bummer. I like it when people join my mailing list so I can send them coupons and news about fonts. But a small collection of fonts that were just free before are now bringing in $10 or $12 a day. The increase in revenues is infinite, but still meager. I still can’t figure out how to get rich quick with this whole internet thing.

The surprise upside was a new proliferation in freefonts from me. I felt bad about taking a dozen or so fonts out of free circulation, so I had to do something to compensate for my stinginess. So I hustled a few old freefonts off my old site and onto the new one. And to make it a better deal, I even updated the character sets for better language support before re-listing them. So now Saucy Millionaire, Rapscallion and Westsac are back in free circulation for a while. Fresher freefonts and some more re-issues will be coming your way in the days and weeks to come.

Who knows? Maybe things’d be different if I accepted PayPal at my site. That’s coming soon. I personally find PayPal is a much easier way to pay for less-expensive items. No worry about credit card security when you don’t even have to take out your wallet. Trusting PayPal is pretty easy, whereas a independent little website that just sells fonts might seem a little shadier.

And I guess I never really mentioned that I updated all the font files on those old freefonts, either. For the last few years I’ve been dishing out nothing but TTF-format freefonts, optimized for your computer screen. (Technically they’re TTF-flavored OpenType, but still TrueType nonetheless.) The new versions I’m selling at $1.99 now are all .OTF-flavored OpenType, which looks just about as good on your monitor, but also uses the Post-Script style outlines that old-school designers are so fond of. It’s a pretty slight technical difference, so I never even mentioned it anywhere, but the $1.99 version is a bit better than older versions of these former freefonts.

And they come with a Commercial Use license upgrade, too. As freefonts, these typefaces were served to you with a Personal Use license. The new for-sale versions come with a limited Commercial Use license, which lets a small biz use the fonts for just about anything (except a logo) and big biz can use ’em, too (just contact me for an upgrade if you’ve got lots of users at one site). Yeah, so that’s something else that’s really nice for customers who get the $1.99 fonts.

Like I said I never really mentioned any of this stuff, so it just looks like I changed some prices. But there was a little more going on behind the scenes. I guess that’s good enough content for a blog, right? I apologize in advance for any confusion, and I hope you continue to enjoy the freefonts and quality pay-fonts I make available for you at Chank.com.

Now, let’s continue on to my previous post, where I salute my top ten freefonts of 2009, which sadly are mostly NOT free anymore…




Chank.com’s Top Ten Freefonts of 2009
December 22, 2009, 2:40 pm
Filed under: Font News | Tags: , , ,

We quietly launched a whole new Chank.com this year, and populated it with some old fonts and a bunch of new fonts, too. Some fonts are free, some cost money, but needless to say the free ones get a lot more downloads than the ones you have to pay for. Here’s a list of the year’s most popular freefonts at Chank.com, with download totals year-to-date:

1. Farmers Delight (942)

2. Millesime (715)

3. Chummmmmley (695)

4. Sarcastic Robot* (681)

5. Atomic Vegas Seasnakes (553)

6. Flower Power (525)

7. Flubber (426)

8. Chrylser Electric* (407)

9. Ballers Delight (402)

10. Tortuga (328)

(*Sarcastic Robot and Chrylser Electric turned out to be so popular they aren’t free anymore, but they were for a while. Others on this list might not be free some day, so get ’em now while you still can.)