I didn’t get much work done on the day Jeff Veen called to tell me about Typekit. Can you imagine my excitement? I was a web designer who loved typography, and had followed Jeff’s work at Adaptive Path for years. But I might have died that day of euphoria if I had known how much Typekit was going to affect my life.

Typekit is a different thing than it once was, full of different people. What used to be a web font service is growing into a complete infrastructure for discovering, acquiring, managing, and using type in any medium. Fonts from Typekit are not only on websites — they’re synced to desktops and devices, and baked into all kinds of applications. That cereal box in the supermarket. That flyer on the community bulletin board. That new album by a favorite band. They all use fonts from Typekit.

At its core, semantically, Typekit has profound responsibilities: we help define and describe what type is, transform it on-the-fly to optimize it for many contexts, support people who use type in any context, and welcome people to the practice of typography. It is neither a surprise nor an accident that this team of people bears those responsibilities.

Our team has maintained a relentless focus on empathy and clarity. Typekit is rooted in customer support: everyone participates, and we don’t simply respond — we listen to customers, culling observations to make sensitive design decisions. We work diligently and methodically to make choices about our time and attention that are not only wise, but reasonable. Our leaders epitomize service, and continually express trust in both the team and in our community. As a result, people trust Typekit and love using our service. (We love you all, too.)

Adobe recently made the important decision to concentrate more on customer relationships than selling software. If a customer doesn’t find value in Creative Cloud software and services, that customer will leave. So it’s vital to Adobe that customers are satisfied at all times. Therefore, Adobe’s success is directly related to how well our business decisions represent our character, our ethos.

People will come and go. Products and services will rise and fall. But the persistent cultivation of, and respect for, a strong ethos will always thrive. To the people who have established, supported, and recognized the value of Typekit beyond its team, its code, its relationships, and its finances, I am immeasurably grateful. It is rare to be part of something so special.

Designer, author, speaker, and maker of tools. •

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