>Every other week or so, I go down to Philly and buy a couple pounds of
>coffee from a spice shop on 9th street. About two or three weeks ago, I
>went down, and someone different waited on me. This woman, instead of
>writing the blend I had made up, wrote "Espresso" on the bag. The way she
>wrote it was so beautiful that I saved the bag.
>Now, here comes the part I was wondering about:
>Is it ethical to take that woman's writing and make a typeface out of it?
>I've been playing around with it since I got the bag. In the back of my
>head, a voice has been saying, "Don't do it, it's wrong, it's not your
>work, it's forgery." But another part of my head tells me that this
>woman's writing is calling out to be printed.
>Who do I listen to in my head?
Doesn't seem difficult to me. Gotta go ask the person. 1) it's the right
thing to do (put yerself in her shoes, it becomes clear) 2) how you gonna
make a "typeface" out of 5 or 6 letters (depending on whether the first E in
espresso is caps)- you NEED her help.
If you used just the single word, you'd be doing a huge amount of
extrapolating (you have no idea what the other characters are like) so in a
sense the design could be "based on the word "espresso" found on a coffee
bag" but it really wasn't "found," but was given to you...
With just the one word i don't think it's really a question of "ethics," but
of politeness, though i'd sure want to see at least the rest of the alphabet...
I was relieved to learn that Frank Ching collaborated with David Seigel on
the creation of Tekton (it's his handwriting...)
If she says no, you might still go for it with just the one word, but i
can't imagine she would- my experience photographing alone in the "worst"
neighborhoods of NYC tells me so- with a 35mm it's problematic, but with a
Hasselblad all i ever had to do was pretend to take someone's pitcher.
Jim Spiri, his band and street choir