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Re: "Stitched him up"


James Souttar <[log in to unmask]>


TYPO-L Discussion of Type and Typographic Design <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 15 Aug 1996 18:48:55 +0100





text/plain (27 lines)


Though I have a vague sense that it isn't nice, could you clarify
what is meant by "stitched him up." Idiom is one of those things that
doesn't always cross ponds (or fictional lines) very well.

In 1957 Max Miedinger drew a type called Neue Haas-Grotesk for the
Haas'sche foundry in Basel. It was cut for Linotype by their German
subsidiary - who named it Helvetica - and it was also cross-licensed
to Stempel who manufactured it for the export market.

As I understand it, Miedinger had no copyright and received no
royalty (but had the doubtful pleasure, no doubt, of seeing his name
credited every time it appeared in a Linotype promotion). When
Linotype later acquired the rights to it, it became perhaps the best
selling type in the world. The licensing agreement with OEMs to
bundle it with laserprinters must itself be worth millions.

A former boss of mine felt particularly aggreived at the apparent
injustice afforded to Miedinger - who by all accounts had been
reduced to somewhat straightened circumstances - and was trying to
start some campaign on his behalf. I wouldn't go that far - having no
great love of the face - but think it is typical of the way the type
industry exploited the lack of intellectual property rights in this


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