Just an observation about Allen's dilemma...
Whilst I'd agree (in general) about the propriety of asking the woman
for her consent - and the possibility that she may also be an artist
- just consider the following scenarios.
1. She thinks: 'if he's so interested in my handwriting, maybe I've
really got something here. Perhaps I should see what I can get for
it...'. Naturally, the point that font-making is a labour of love
that brings a pittance in the way of revenue is lost on her.
2. She thinks: 'well I've always thought I had an artist in me. If
this strange guy thinks my writing's something special, maybe I
should go for it. OK, Mr. Di Angelo... here's what I think about your
lousy job and your stupid Coffee shop...'
IM(H)O, it's not that artists have any special prerogative... but
that the somewhat doubtful morality of their voyeurism is
counterbalanced by the fact that they *get things done*. This woman's
handwriting might only ever get seen by a few people, including the
patrons of the coffee shop (who might not value it particularly
highly). Even if she has aspirations to one day doing something
creative with her life, if she's like the rest of us, these will just
remain unrealised hopes. If she really has it in her to do something
with it, she'll do it - so don't worry too much about her. The
inspiration you got from her letterforms is *your* intellectual
property - just like the inspiration composers got from rustic folk
songs, or painters from ethnic artefacts.
So I suggest JUST DO IT! Don't let the project founder in good
intentions, miscommunication and misunderstanding - and finally loss
of interest. Create a great type, inspired by this woman's
handwriting. Don't ask her to draw the rest of the alphabet - allow
your imagination to extrapolate the missing pieces - and make it your
artefact. But if you secretly dedicate it to her, that's probably