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Chris MacGregor's work is an ideal example of creating what customers want. His research includes seeing the latest demands by newsgroups and analysing font trends. Armed with this information, MacGregor designs something that meets users' needsbut always with an emphasis on originality. Therefore, additional time is spent researching what fonts are out there.
Like all good designers, he understands there is no merit to copyingthere are greater rewards in interpreting trends in his own style.
MacGregor's ideas are not from research alone. In his words, inspiration comes from "everywhere. Recently, from Japan, and rave culture stuff, but boy, it changes daily."
Since MacGregor began creating type in 1992, he has designed 20-30 fonts. The time-frame for each varies considerably: from a few weeks to several years, with an average of around four weeks. As well as running the successful Internet Type Foundry Index, which has become a reliable site for original type designs, MacGregor has 40 fonts "in various stages of completion."
Of these fonts, great care is taken to keep the type tight, with as few points as possible.
As a result of his hard work, he has been successful with getting his fonts to market, although it was not always easy. Behind it was perseverance: "I have been let down many times. Once you get a foothold, though, things get easier."
MacGregor's lament is that "all of the shareware faces that I put on AOL have been pirated, even the very bad ones," causing him to lose faith in the shareware distribution method until there is some protection for his designs. Companies have taken his designs and sold them. To MacGregor, "there is nothing more insulting than to see something that you have given away free being stolen and used for someone else's profit."
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