Future Fonts — A Marketplace for Unfinished Typefaces

We get a sneak preview with the team behind an innovative new way of creating and selling fonts

Ulrik Hogrebe
Oct 23, 2017 · 8 min read

Kara in discussion with Michelle about her lettering project at GoogleNYC

There is nothing more fun than starting a typeface, and for that reason, it’s easy to pile up a ton of ideas over a few years. Some of them deserve to be dusted off, and some of them definitely don’t, but maybe that’s for other people to decide, not me.

James: Yep, I totally agree. A lot of people and foundries have been trying to figure out the best way to do a something similar. Various experiments like Ghostlines, which is a way of subscribing to a typeface’s development, and offering feedback. And Swiss Typefaces has their “lab” for more experimental ideas that cost less than traditional retail typefaces.

It’s kind of weird how we treat font releases like they’re still cast in metal. We wait until they’re perfect, and there’s an enormous pressure to make sure there aren’t any mistakes.

Lizy: Also, coming at it as a designer that uses type, we have used typefaces with very limited character sets on brand work. Type is a design tool that can be useful long before the final release.

Sneak Preview of the Future Fonts interface
Showing how close a font is to completions

The feedback mechanism is something that is very interesting to us. (…) We’re hoping it can help bridge the gap between the makers and users of type.

Ulrik: What are your thoughts on the feedback mechanism between type designer and type buyer?


Available for purchase on typethursday.org

Type Thursday

A meeting place for people who love letterforms.

Thanks to Travis Kochel.

Ulrik Hogrebe

Written by

Design Director at WeWork, CIID alumni and now faculty, former CD @ frog design and CD at BBC News and The World Service. Designs type, slowly.

Type Thursday

A meeting place for people who love letterforms.