Thursday, July 30, 2009


Strike a blow for tasteful design and sound economic principles all at the same time! The Ludwig von Mises Institute offers some snappy merchandise and apparel, including some items featuring this version of their logo—an attractive typographical arrangement of a font which looks vaguely familiar to me…

The Austrian Economists T-Shirt Collection is quite whimsically subversive as well.


  1. It is interesting to note, particularly considering that a LvMI product is involved, that a typeface, Carlton, designed in the early 1900's is under copyright by a corporation in 2009.

  2. Are you perhaps referring to specific Libertarian stances on ©opyright matters? If so, please enlighten me. I admit to becoming increasingly enamored of Libertarian economics, though their takes on various other issues can be a mixed bag.

  3. Yes, though I'm definitely a spectator in that particular Libertarian fight. Their modern stance on intellectual property, IP, is that it is a government granted monopoly that wouldn't exist without the state, and therefore shouldn't exist at all.

    I half-heartedly agree with them in the long-run, but I don't think I'm opposed to IP monopolies in the short run. Specific to this font in question, International Typeface Corp, bought the rights from a 100-plus-year-old design and now they sell 5-CPU licences for $29 a piece on That, I think, is a little much. But I'll likely never be on the other end of IP royalties, so my stance is somewhat one-sided.

  4. Agreed, though I don't feel qualified based on my current knowledge on the subject to say a whole lot on this fairly complicated issue. While it's probably safe to say that modern copyright, patent and intellectual property laws have gotten rather convoluted and generally out of hand, their existence does preserve an important biblical principal: namely that a man is entitled to enjoy the fruits of his own labor (including intellectual labor) without having it pilfered at will by passers-by. This is a principal that the founding fathers of this country acknowledged, as witnessed by Article 1, Section 2, Item 8 of the U. S. Constitution. In our age of ipods and desktop photocopiers, this is a principal that folks—Christians in particular—don't honor with nearly as much thoughtfulness as they should.

    I think this one of those areas, and there are several, where the Libertarians tend to throw the baby out with the bath water. They are at their strongest on economics. (In fact, it seems that they tend to look at most other issues through the lens of their economic convictions, which is a big part of their problem, I think.) It's a pretty steep downhill grade from there. I think their overall understanding of the role of government itself is seriously flawed, and they definitely tend to fall off the cliff when it comes to most of their views on moral and social issues, which I generally think are pretty wretched.