The 2016 Font Purchasing Habits Survey Results

  • 56% of respondents are male and 42% are female. 2% selected “other.”
  • 65% of all respondents are 35 years old or younger.
  • 35% of respondents personally know a type designer.
  • 56.5% percent of respondents work as graphic designers.
  • 55% of respondents have been working as a creative for 1–10 years.


  • 80% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that there are a few foundries that are their go-to for fonts. This indicates that it is highly likely that foundry loyalty exists.
  • 71% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that they are more likely to buy a font if they see it used on hypothetical products in marketing promotions created by the type designer.
  • 85% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that they think about a font for a while before purchasing it.
  • 64% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that they will buy a font that they like even if they don’t currently have a project for it.


  • For example, graphic designers agree that when one font of a family is free, they are more inclined to purchase the entire typeface family significantly more than type designers.
  • Women agree with this idea more than men.
  • And people who shop at MyFonts agree more than people who do not shop at MyFonts.


  • 51% of respondents agree or somewhat agree that fonts convey different genders.
  • 55% of respondents disagree or somewhat disagree with the statement that they use gendered words to describe fonts to colleagues or clients.

Emotion & Function

Licensing Misuse

  1. Know your buyer.
    As you have seen, different demographic groups have different purchasing behavior. Identifying a specific group that purchases your products, then tailoring your promotion and marketing to them, to me feels like a no-brainer. Additionally, it is seen that customers have foundry loyalty. Why not use this to your advantage?
  2. Make an effort to meet new people. People who personally know type designers behave very differently from people who do not personally know type designers. Attend graphic design events, meet new people, tell people what you do. By doing this, you’re actively creating a more informed customer base and benefiting the entire industry.
  3. Make your marketing personal. We’ve just seen that people have emotional responses to fonts just as much as functional needs for them. Test out storytelling or other emotion-driven strategies in your marketing.
  4. Data is important. Font design may be an art but it can also be a business driven by data and research. With more and more type designers entering the market and more foundries being created, it is up to you to differentiate yourself. A good product simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Think about marketing and the font industry in a way that is driven by data and research rather than anecdotal evidence or random made-up statistics on twitter.

The PDF slide deck can be downloaded here.
The PDF talk transcript can be downloaded here.




Fonts, doughnuts, data. Works for @Monotype. Opinions are my own.

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Mary Catherine Pflug

Mary Catherine Pflug

Fonts, doughnuts, data. Works for @Monotype. Opinions are my own.

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