Schoolfonts? Who?

We had a query tonight from Mike, he asked why the fonts were so cheap ... hence....

Dear Mike,

We thought a bit of background might be of interest to you.

In the early 1980s John was teaching at Shepherdson College (a government school on Elcho Island in east Arnhem Land. As a teacher he had been making fonts for typing up text to make books in local Yolngu languages. These languages include some non-English characters. Some years later in 1988 when John was working as a teacher linguist at a school out of Katherine, NT. He wanted to make books, and other materials using the Victorian handwriting scripts (which were adopted by the NT Education Dept.) in both the local languages and English.

After enquiries there were no Victorian computer fonts available anywhere. The NT Dept. weren't interested in the project so John personally bought the software and created TrueType fonts after many weeks of work, he claimed copyright for the fonts and started printing books using the fonts. There were soon plenty of enquiries.

Not long after John transferred back to Shepherdson College, he was contacted by Randall in Victoria. The school Randall's children attended had bought a set of fonts and found John's name and details encrypted in the font files. Randall contacted John and asked if his school council could sell the fonts and pay a royalty to John's school, Shepherdson CEC, John agreed. (Randall also has the wonderful idea to produce a set of maths fonts.)

Anyway, soon after John's class decided they wanted to study a unit 'Running a Business'. Together the class and John decided to make fonts for other states and for the  class to sell them as part of the unit. All proceeds went to the school. This project was called the Shepherdson CEC Computer Fund, it helped purchase much needed hardware and software.

John's classes ran this unit for a number of years. Then when he took on a more administrative role in the school, it was no longer possible to keep this computer fund going.

John and some friends continued to operate this hobby as School Fonts. They use profits to purchase hardware and pay for the development of software suited to learning literacy in Australian languages.

John believes the fonts are the best available for their quality and range of style. They are also by far the cheapest. They are cheap because the project is not out to make money, but to make the fonts accessible to every one who wants them.

Thank you Mike for your interest, and any assistance in spreading the word about the fonts is greatly appreciated.

(John is still at Shepherdson College, working as Ass. Principal)

Feb. 2003


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