The majority of graphic design students today have violated creative and intellectual property law. Font piracy has become a habit for most students as they are uneducated about legal practice, causing them to have a general lack of awareness and appreciation for the value of typeface design. Moreover, there is often a lack of leadership and ownership demonstrated by the University towards solving this issue. This combined with industry prices that are unrealistic for students results in their stunted learning of ethical practice in design.

Students find it nonsensical to pay commercial prices for school work that will not generate profit. Meanwhile, the commercially-supported type industry offers some, but very few discounted prices and educational licensing options for students. Throughout my research, I have come to find that students find the type industry to be unapproachable, when it can often be very open minded towards learning. However, while these efforts and opportunities continue to remain undetected by students, the majority will fail to partake and other foundries and designers will not feel it worth their participation.

Compiling interviews from type designers, a copyright lawyer, university administration, type professors, and graphic design students, Young Type Lovers Anonymous sheds light on all angles of this issue. The supporting soundtrack has been donated by the Vancouver, Canada -based bands, Teen Daze/Two Bicycles/Little Chords.

While this issue has long been present in the minds of those in the type industry, it will prove highly educational for students, creating awareness and an appreciation for the tools they so actively use. Above all, it aims to finally start a discussion around how this issue might begin to be solved. While the perpetual combat of piracy is a difficult one, all those involved in the education and production of typography would be right to focus on educating and enticing those who have the potential to nurture this industry.

Danielle Hall

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