The story told here is detailed and super intense. Also, interesting look into the history of H&FJ.
I want a movie.
This is crazy and super upsetting. Having your two favorite type designers sue each other is like watching your parents go through a divorce.
I don't want to pick sides without knowing the whole story, but I strongly sympathize with Tobias and hope he gets what is fair.
I really hope this doesn't affect their business, because I'm not sure I can function without cloud.typography in my life.
Boy, this is ugly...
Plaintiff Tobias Frere-Jones is one of the world's leading and most recognized type designers, [brief history and extensive list of awards]
Defendant Jonathan Hoefler is also a type designer and a businessman.
That says a bit. A little Tesla-Edison thing going on there.
It's a PR move. They probably have a new font coming up.
I thought about this. Man, that would be so awesome.
This is ugly. Really ugly. From a business sense, this has terrible implications for HF&J as a foundry and I can't see anything other than FJ taking his expertise, knowledge, and connections, and starting his own successful foundry. You can bet he'll be successful elsewhere. I certainly can't say the same for Hoefler. If this is true, his credibility has been dashed into a million pieces.
I feel like this falls under "don't work without a contract." Because, this.
An oral contract is just as binding as a written one :)
But a written contract can make for a shorter court case.
I don't think a "verbal agreement" will hold up as a substantial piece of evidence in court.
Oral agreements are absolutely legally binding! The difficult part is proving the specific terms of the agreement, which is why written contracts are safer for all parties.
But I don't get how you can prove it without it being a he said she said kinda deal.
Hence the "difficult to prove" part. Based on the filing, it looks like they are using Hoefler's actions to help substantiate the case (renaming the firm H-FJ, an email from 2000 where Hoefler explicitly states that he is setting up a new partnership with FJ, things like that that prove that both parties had an understanding).
Also, I think the part about there not being a corporate formality until 2004 might play big in this?
Makes sense, this is why I'm a designer not a lawyer! ahah
Actually the legal terms is "promissory estoppel" which is part of what he's suing for - along with breach of contract, fraud, breach of trust and unjust enrichment equating to up to $80 million in damages and a 50% equity in the company.
The $3 million bit is the worth of the original "Dowry Fonts" that FJ signed over when they made the agreement.
I had my buddy who's a lawyer analyse the filing and word me up :)
This is very true.
Shit. Am I reading this right? JH promises FJ a 50% stake in the company, then JH gives those shares to his wife instead, making them own 100% of the company.
On October 21, 2013, for the first time, Hoefler explicitly reneged on his personal agreement to transfer 50% of HTF to Frere-Jones.
Upon information and belief, Hoefler transferred to his wife, Borsella, the shares that he had promised to Frere-Jones and Hoefler and Borsella are now the owners of 100% of HTF.
- As 100% owner of HTF (together with his wife), Hoefler has been unjustly enriched by half of the value of HTF derived from Frere-Jones's performance of their agreement.
Yep, but it looks like Frere-Jones got strung along for over TEN years. I can't imagine waiting that long on a partnership agreement.
I guess the lesson here is to get it in writing up front...
The really intelligent people are often pretty stupid when it comes to these things. It's not the first case of smart people being scammed...
An oral contract is just as binding as a written one. I can't imagine this panning out too well for Hoefler.
Looks like it’s time for me to read Design is a Job again.
The name of their company is the saddest part to me, "Tobias and Jonathan's Excellent Adventure" they must have been such buds and then he just stabbed him in the back.
Best matchup ever on www.thetypefight.com
Well, was about to buy Gotham, guess I won't anymore (nothing to do with the fact that I just can't afford it).
Honestly though, Hoefler is definitely the bad guy in this whole thing but Frere-Jones' lack of assertion for over 10 years is absolutely idiotic. Designers with bad clients wonder why they don't respect us, when look how we treat each other. I know its probably a very complicated relationship but you don't sit and wait on something like this for that long, thats just poor business and plain naïvety whether the partner is your friend or not.
I don't know what is more surprising the lawsuit or the fact despite all appearances they were never legally business partners.
Crazy. I found it a bit amusing to read the massive bio of Tobias Frere-Jones, and then read: "5. Defendant Jonathan Hoefler is also a type designer and a businessman. "
lol.. a bit snarky
Tobias' lawyer uses Arial.
Wow, this is wild...
- Frere-Jones has suffered damage from Hoefler's fraud in an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $20 million.
no no no no no! someone please patch this up and tell the world this was all a misunderstanding or a practical joke. this is beyond sad :(
not cool :(
Crazy! Also, it's just one side of the story which I'm sure is legitimate but it's the lawyer's job to make a compelling case...which he has.
Rather ironic that the document is poorly typeset. Guess he didn't read Typography for Lawyers!
In the end, designers will ultimately suffer from this news
Suffer?? Maybe mildly inconvenienced if cloud.typography switches around or you can no longer license certain typefaces. If anything I think it will serve as a great example for designers of what not to do when entering business deals.
Also gives Tobias the opportunity to set up shop and kill it.
In reality it serves as an example to any business partnership... get the details in writing, at least (not word of mouth), and sign asap.
It seems like a really immature move by Hoefler and really just based on pure greed, after reading the complaint. I don't think Hoefler has much of a leg to stand on considering he changed the name to incorporate frere-jones and has mentioned publicly the partnership multiple times (yet Frere-jones officially owns not a single %, meaning he's publically lied).
To some extent I wish Hoefler could face some criminal charges for such an abuse of trust, with proposedly one of your closest and long term friends.
Dammit. This makes me angry. I really hope there is some scenario where this doesn't mean cloud.typography is dead.
also, 4:45: http://bcove.me/2puq9w7l
Off-topic, but thank you for Jukely.
Jesus. Did not see this one coming.
Well this sucks quite a bit. Not sure what the future is for either now, and I was really liking cloud.typography too.
Well shit. :(
I suppose this means that Cloud.typography will be gone soon :(
I really hope thats not the case.
This sucks, the guys seemed to be such a cool team and genuine buds. Fingers crossed cloud.typography will be left unscathed :-(
Can we please go back to the good ol days?