Linotype News - Press Releases

Font piracy – March 22, 2001

Hannover, March 22, 2001

By harnessing the power of the Internet, Linotype Library is changing its business focus from that of a specialist supplier of fonts software to a worldwide player for electronic software distribution. This product marketing scheme is possible thanks to an innovative online concept which is fully Internet-based.

Despite gloomy predictions during the mid-90s which said that the company had no great prospects for the future, the Linotype Library type house has managed to turn the tide of discouragement. Thanks to its lean and innovative strategy of offering and selling Linotype Library software products digitally via e-business technologies, the company is now more profitable than ever before. Its primary goal was to lower distribution costs (thus far the largest cost factor) through global direct sales with simultaneous support for resellers. The strategy also involved annexing new markets and opportunities and reaching new customer groups, such as designers and computer users. The online system now also promises shorter time-to-market periods.

In the first instance, it was vital for Linotype Library to reposition itself on the market, to set itself apart from the others, since cross-licensing means that the company’s competitors can offer similar or identical products. The e-commerce system developed by Linotype Library offers key unique features and additional benefits for customers:

Cost and error minimization through automated business processes

Products are available 24 hours a day

A new type of database application, the [email protected], assists with searching, finding and buying fonts which can be delivered in a matter of seconds online.

Excellent prospects thanks to the latest Internet technology
Linotype Library’s over 4,700 type faces have been available on
CD-ROM for many years, and can be administered with ease using the FontExplorer™ navigation system. But administration and distribution cost too much time and money. The implementation of the FontExplorer™ into an e-commerce solution provided the breakthrough. Maximum benefits with maximum ease of use were the key criteria when the search system was being transformed into a web solution. Users have confirmed that buying fonts from the web site is fun, since the web site offers inspiration while you surf, as well as offering a specific search function allowing you to find exactly what you want.

One of the e-commerce solution’s highlights are the newly developed modules for payment processes and resellers. In addition to online clearing for popular credit cards, payments can currently be made in three currencies (US Dollars, Euros and Deutschmarks). Payments can be made with customer cards, credit cards or via the customer’s account. A discount system is in the pipeline. The system features online key generation for resellers. These keys are processed via a private, secure web site. This extends the distribution channels, excludes the risk of storage or obsolescence and guarantees 24 hour product availability.

The success of the new system became apparent very soon after its launch. Without any additional advertising activities, the number of hits multiplied five-fold. Just under 300,000 page impressions a month and more than 1,200 user sessions per day were recorded in the first month. Hit rates on portal sites on the web are significantly higher, but a large proportion of users on the Linotype Library sites actually buy something. This is also confirmed by the volume of online type sales, which in the first few weeks accounted for 10% of consumer sales. The online offering received an outstanding welcome, particularly overseas. More than 60% of users come from the USA, while just under 25% come from the German-speaking area.

Core expertise considerably extended
A sea change has been made possible by the use of an innovative e-commerce system and state-of-the-art Internet technology. Linotype Library has made the change from type manufacturer to a digital publishing company that licenses the work of independent font designers. At the same time, Linotype Library has stepped up its supplier activities in the wider market, thanks to the power of IT. The rigorous use of e-business has enabled the company to shift its core expertise from the manufacture of fonts to the worldwide sale of virtual products and licenses.

Further information and examples of how the font can be used are available at

Linotype GmbH – a member of the Heidelberg Group – supplies cutting-edge font technology and can boast one of the world’s largest libraries of original fonts. Its portfolio currently includes more than 4,700 PostScript and TrueType fonts for Mac and PC. Linotype FontExplorer, a browser and navigation system, can be employed for optimum results. Since the beginning of this year, it has been possible to order all fonts both on CD and online for immediate delivery.
This press release is available as pdf file. Please download:
English version (33,4 kb)
German version (32,9 kb)