Type design is attracting more and more people of diverse backgrounds and various geographic regions. At the same time, more educational opportunities are emerging and more type releases are being produced than any time in history, and so it is somewhat surprising that we are encountering less discussion about type now than ever before. Over the past two decades, several print publications have gone out of business. Blogs publishing thoughtful material about type have become rarer. Many sites from previous decades may still be online but no longer publish new content.
Fontstand was initiated as a community project to rethink established models for working with type, and from the very beginning we valued meetings as a fruitful way to spark an exchange of ideas about the state and future of type design. In 2018, we started organising annual international type design conferences, which gave us the opportunity both to interact with the local audiences and to take part in informal discussions with Fontstand partner foundries. In fact, we were in the middle of planning another conference last year, when the pandemic brought that – just like everything else – to a halt.
We very much missed our discussions and so tried to think of alternatives that would facilitate in-depth discourse around type design. As a result, we formulated a plan for a new channel which would allow precisely this. Instead of being restrained by a struggling publishing model based on advertising, this channel would encourage debate about type without any external interference, free for the readers, and with a broad worldwide network of contributors and editors, who will be paid fairly for their effort. Yes, we hope to attract new audiences for our paid font rental service, but the writing will be not limited or driven by business interests. To us, this was a beautiful concept.
We are therefore excited to introduce Fontstand News, a new platform with content we hope will be of interest and relevance for anyone who uses type. We strive to offer a highly inclusive, community-driven space for type and typography news to be chronicled. The site will have a dedicated editor as well as associate editors around the globe. We’re aiming for a mix of deep dives into the peculiarities of specific typefaces combined with shorter news items that are less intimidating to scroll through. Plus, we’ll post information on design events around the world, review books and summarize industry and community developments.
Through our editorial selection, we will endeavour to highlight positive examples from type and design in the belief that promoting good work will have the greatest impact. We are delighted that Dan Reynolds has accepted our invitation to be the site’s editor-in-chief, and together we have invited our long-term collaborators and writers to be part of the project while extending the offer to new contributors, in order to present voices from different parts of the world. With the launch of Fontstand News, we are again attempting to find ways to help build and widen the community around type design while simultaneously helping to promote great typefaces to a global audience. We are already planning the Fontstand conference in Dublin in 2022, and believe that via a combination of active online discussion and in-person meetings, we can create a more valuable discussion.
Peter Biľak & Andrej Krátky