55 comments

  • Alexander DinerAlexander Diner, almost 4 years ago

    The story told here is detailed and super intense. Also, interesting look into the history of H&FJ.

    I want a movie.

    11 points
  • Christine RødeChristine Røde, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    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.

    10 points
  • Piet AukemanPiet Aukeman, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Boy, this is ugly...

    1. Plaintiff Tobias Frere-Jones is one of the world's leading and most recognized type designers, [brief history and extensive list of awards]

    2. Defendant Jonathan Hoefler is also a type designer and a businessman.

    9 points
  • Stelian FirezStelian Firez, almost 4 years ago

    It's a PR move. They probably have a new font coming up.

    7 points
  • Todd Smith-SalterTodd Smith-Salter, almost 4 years ago

    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.

    6 points
  • Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, almost 4 years ago

    I feel like this falls under "don't work without a contract." Because, this.

    5 points
    • Jake Lazaroff, almost 4 years ago

      An oral contract is just as binding as a written one :)

      0 points
      • Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, almost 4 years ago

        But a written contract can make for a shorter court case.

        2 points
        • Adam Brace, almost 4 years ago

          I don't think a "verbal agreement" will hold up as a substantial piece of evidence in court.

          0 points
          • Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, almost 4 years ago

            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.

            2 points
            • Adam Brace, almost 4 years ago

              But I don't get how you can prove it without it being a he said she said kinda deal.

              0 points
              • Julie RobertsJulie Roberts, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

                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?

                0 points
                • Adam Brace, almost 4 years ago

                  Makes sense, this is why I'm a designer not a lawyer! ahah

                  0 points
                  • Joe HowardJoe Howard, almost 4 years ago

                    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 :)

                    1 point
        • Jake Lazaroff, almost 4 years ago

          This is very true.

          0 points
  • Jeff ShinJeff Shin, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    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.

    1. On October 21, 2013, for the first time, Hoefler explicitly reneged on his personal agreement to transfer 50% of HTF to Frere-Jones.

    2. 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.

    5 points
    • C. A. StavridisC. A. Stavridis, almost 4 years ago

      Yea:

      1. 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.
      0 points
    • Michael AleoMichael Aleo, almost 4 years ago

      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...

      4 points
      • Sindri AvaruusSindri Avaruus, almost 4 years ago

        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...

        1 point
      • Jake Lazaroff, almost 4 years ago

        An oral contract is just as binding as a written one. I can't imagine this panning out too well for Hoefler.

        1 point
  • Kenneth OrmandyKenneth Ormandy, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Looks like it’s time for me to read Design is a Job again.

    5 points
  • Chris De La FuenteChris De La Fuente, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    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.

    5 points
  • Charlie PrattCharlie Pratt, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Best matchup ever on www.thetypefight.com

    5 points
  • Daniel FoscoDaniel Fosco, almost 4 years ago

    Well, was about to buy Gotham, guess I won't anymore (nothing to do with the fact that I just can't afford it).

    4 points
  • Adam Brace, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    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.

    4 points
  • Jonathan ShariatJonathan Shariat, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Poor Tobias

    3 points
  • Patrick SerranoPatrick Serrano, almost 4 years ago

    I don't know what is more surprising the lawsuit or the fact despite all appearances they were never legally business partners.

    3 points
  • Chris SlowikChris Slowik, almost 4 years ago

    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

    3 points
  • Marià Codina i FerrésMarià Codina i Ferrés, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Tobias' lawyer uses Arial.

    2 points
  • Jonathan SuhJonathan Suh, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Wow, this is wild...

    1. Frere-Jones has suffered damage from Hoefler's fraud in an amount to be determined at trial but not less than $20 million.
    2 points
  • Palash MukhopadhyayPalash Mukhopadhyay, almost 4 years ago

    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 :(

    1 point
  • Jakub ŚwiadekJakub Świadek, almost 4 years ago

    not cool :(

    1 point
  • Sabih MirSabih Mir, almost 4 years ago

    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!

    0 points
  • David Trang, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    In the end, designers will ultimately suffer from this news

    0 points
    • Jonathon YuleJonathon Yule, almost 4 years ago

      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.

      4 points
      • Sam Mathews, almost 4 years ago

        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.

        1 point
  • Jamie WilsonJamie Wilson, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    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

    0 points
  • Andrew CornettAndrew Cornett, almost 4 years ago

    :-o

    0 points
  • Todd BurtonTodd Burton, almost 4 years ago

    Jesus. Did not see this one coming.

    0 points
  • Christopher AzarChristopher Azar, almost 4 years ago

    Fucking sadface.

    0 points
  • Wells RileyWells Riley, almost 4 years ago

    wtf

    0 points
  • Andy StapleAndy Staple, almost 4 years ago

    Well this sucks quite a bit. Not sure what the future is for either now, and I was really liking cloud.typography too.

    0 points
  • ポール ウェッブポール ウェッブ, almost 4 years ago

    Well shit. :(

    0 points
  • Devin HalladayDevin Halladay, almost 4 years ago

    I suppose this means that Cloud.typography will be gone soon :(

    0 points
  • Maciej ZadykowiczMaciej Zadykowicz, almost 4 years ago

    This sucks, the guys seemed to be such a cool team and genuine buds. Fingers crossed cloud.typography will be left unscathed :-(

    0 points
  • Tyler HowarthTyler Howarth, almost 4 years ago (edited almost 4 years ago )

    Can we please go back to the good ol days?

    0 points
  • Brad McNally, almost 4 years ago

    Hoefler's response:

    http://typography.com/press/20140117

    0 points