It ought to be legacy enough that music icons such as John Lennon and David Bowie have their songwriting immortalised forever, but two fans have gone so far as to turn their music idols’ handwritings into certified fonts. Well, almost certified, until the copyright bigwigs intervened.
Graphic design collective, The Songwriters Font, took the handwriting of Lennon, Bowie, Kurt Cobain and other music icons and turned these into typefaces for punters to use in their own writing, more specifically targetting songwriters and musicians to lend them inspiration.
Co-creators Julien Sens and Nicolas Damiens obtained copies of handwritten letters and notes by Lennon, Bowie, Cobain, et al, and turned these into uppercase and lowercase lettering, all set for the picking. Also created were fonts inspired by the handwriting of Leonard Cohen and Serge Gainsbourg.
“Songwriting is about inspiration,” said Sens, “and these songwriters fonts [had] been created to give musicians inspiration.”
The trouble is, as wonderfully intentional as Sens and Damiens were being, they neglected to contact the intellectual property owners of each of the artists for copyright permission, hence just two days after the project was announced available to the public, it had to be torn off the net.
Signature Font’s homepage now reads “We have been contacted by intellectual property rights owners, and are sad to announce that we have to shut down this website because of legal issues. We’re sorry to have to say goodbye.”
Hello, goodbye, indeed.
Of course, there’s money to be made in them recycled styles of writing, so we wouldn’t be surprised if the copyright owners will patent the signature styles and market them their own way. After all, what good is owning all that brilliant songwriting if they can’t make a buck from it, right? Antonino Tati