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02-24-2011, 12:45 AM   #1
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Why is it that celebrity photographers (often) use the Vogue font to write their name

If you look at Matthew Rolston and other famous photographers many use the Vogue font all over their website... Are they not breaking the law or something? This is weird, it so lack originality.


Last edited by Student; 02-24-2011 at 01:05 AM.
02-24-2011, 05:46 AM   #2
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What law do you think they are breaking, exactly?
02-24-2011, 05:56 AM   #3
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Hey Adam! Can we have Vouge font?!
02-24-2011, 07:11 AM   #4
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Well I would guess fonts are also copyright protected. It is very unlikely that the Vogue cover logo font isn't copyrighted. Right? It's like making a poster for a play using the Nikon font, they'd sue.

02-24-2011, 08:04 AM   #5
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Nah! Using brand fonts is the oldest trick in the marketing book. Companies have been doing it for years to sell their knock offs.
Jokes too. Remember those stoner T shirts? I can remember one in the Ford font. It said "Fried" in the blue oval.
02-24-2011, 08:39 AM   #6
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Unless you create your own font then you are using someone else's creative work. Most common fonts are either public or license free however many are commercially licensed and distributed... However the best licensed ones are so often pirated that enforcement would be nigh well impossible. Not excusing copyright infringement here, but lets be sensible. The only one who needs to really truly worry about using the Vogue font (which may or may not be free) is another magazine... For instance if ELLE or Cosmopolitan started using the Vogue font, they might get sued.
02-24-2011, 12:55 PM   #7
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How do you know the font is Vogue?
There are a bunch of fonts that look exactly alike with different names.
02-24-2011, 02:26 PM - 1 Like   #8
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"Vogue" font is most likely a custom mod closely based on Didot, which in its original form has been around at least since late 18th century. Alongside with Bodoni and a bunch of lesser known ones, these fonts are classified as "modern".

The one that photographer is using is a Bodoni, not a Didot, and certainly not Vogue's not-publicly-available custom made stuff. Differences between these fonts might be subtle and not immediately perceivable, though there are several. Easiest one to spot is the G.

So, yes, the guy can use that font without incurring in lawsuits from Vogue, as, in fact, a) it's not the same font, and b) you can buy and use commercial Didot (or Bodoni, or other modern fonts) from many (online) foundries.

The question would rather be, why is it that celeb photographers use modern fonts to write their names, and that is a trivial one.
The fashion industry seems to love those apparently "feminine" fonts(*), magazines such as: Vogue, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Grazia, etc. all use some sort of modern fonts, as well as fashion houses and their by-products: Armani, Calvin Klein ("cK"), etc. the examples are endless.
For a fashion/celebrity photographer whose target is the same as that of the aforementioned names, it only makes sense to use a similar font. People, who are unconsciously used to such styling, will know right away, or might guess pretty much accurately, the type of photography done by that guy without even needing to see a picture. It's not incredibly creative, though.

(*) There could be a whole debate on why such twisted perception is just wrong, but I just better not get started on that one.

02-24-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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Hoover--great explanation!

I did some marketing work for Mobil (now Mobil-Exxon) back when, and they had their own custom font. (The "o" was in red and the rest blue, and forgive me for not remembering the PMSs.)

Anyway, the font looked like a hundred other San Serifs, and more than once, when we had a font corruption problem, it was a piece of cake to take a different font...use different horizontal scales on the individual characters...and pretty much replicate the thing. Because let's face it:

That's all the original " designer" of the font did anyway.
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