The creator of display and novelty fonts such as the Poptics shareware family, and many more available at Eyewire and Type Quarry, Patricia Lillie is a freelance designer who has been, like many, hit by piracy. "About every pirate CD I come across contains Poptics One or Three under another name. Often, these CDs not only contain the alpha-numeric characters, which are not protected by current US copyright law, but the pictorial characters that are currently protected."
When piracy hits the large firms, a lawsuit can arise, but for an independent designer such as Lillie, this is often not possible due to cost. Above all, it belittles the efforts the designer puts into her creations.
Lillie does not just play around with type design in a vacuum. She researches "both historical models and contemporary creations," and does as much research as possible.
At any one time, she has "at least a dozen Fontographer files, each with a handful of characters, sitting in a folder on my desktop. If I'm lucky, one of them will develop into a typeface."
Most recently, she has created two families based on historical styles. In doing so, Lillie takes great care: "Because others have used, and will use, these same models, I try to make sure my interpretation adds enough to make it a different typeface, and appropriate for different uses than what is already out there."
She draws directly onto the computer using Fontographer, Illustrator and Freehand, taking a couple of months (of 10- to 12-hour days) at the least. After this, she puts the font through a vigorous checking process, ensuring that every aspect works perfectly and that the font appears as intended.
Pirates, who often do not go through any of these processes but take Lillie's design or the entire font file, capitalize on months of work and ensure that she never sees any of the profits.
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