A year ago we launched I Love Typography’s font store, entering a crowded marketplace dominated by a few big players with very deep pockets. We did this not because it was easy — it wasn’t — but because we felt that there is a deep imbalance in our industry that is stacked against independent foundries. We firmly believed that the future of our industry depends on the ability of small and mid-sized foundries to flourish. So, we needed a font retailer that puts the health of our creative industry ahead of everything else. We needed to work towards a future other than the one we could see coming.
Our mission is to create a healthy and creative eco-system for the creators and users of type. In our first year of trading, we launched several initiatives that would bring us closer to that goal:
Bold Friday is our take on Black Friday, the largest day in retail business in the calendar year. Last November, we passed on all revenue to the foundries and kept nothing for us. We have committed to do this on all Black Fridays, because it allows the foundries to offer deeper discounts that help customers get access to more fonts. The foundries win, the customers win, and we are happy with that!
In March we launched a mentorship program for women-led or co-led foundries. We will not achieve gender equality or equity in our industry if women are not at the table, driving strategy forward and having a say in the trajectory that we collectively move in. The number of foundries with women in leadership position is quite small, and we hope that our mentorship program will encourage more women to step up.
Font Fashion Week
In April we hosted the first Font Fashion Week, an occasion for foundries to launch new typefaces — we launched 12 new typeface families in total — and to celebrate trends in type design today. The purpose is to empower independent foundries by harnessing the collective power of the group. Launching typefaces together provides a larger spotlight for the foundries to shine in. The next Font Fashion Week is October 3–7.
We would like to remove the linguistic and geographical barriers towards type education. To that end, we launched the online ILT Academy in May, offering online type design courses in a variety of languages. We have so far offered Arabic type design (in English) and Latin type design (in Japanese). Upcoming courses include font production, advanced Latin type design, Greek, Cyrillic, and Devanagari.
These initiatives were the highlights of our first 365 days as a font retailer. Accompanying us on our journey were 61 foundries who represent some of the best type designers practicing today. It is our joy and our honor to represent them, and an infinite source of inspiration as we highlight and discover the beautiful typefaces they’ve created. To them we send a million thanks as we renew our pledge to them that we will continue to be a fair partner.
Today we start the next 365 days in type, and to our journey we welcome another 21 foundries who join us, bringing us to a total of 82 foundries launched in one year, and almost 1,200 typeface families. As we expand our family and our offering, we keep one goal in mind: that we will curate the typefaces and foundries that come onto our site, so that when a visitor comes looking for fonts, the journey of font discovery is one filled with inspiration and wonder.
Finally, to the loyal customers who chose us for their font purchases, thank you for your trust and we will continue to share with you our deepest love for type design and typography. Hope to see you again soon!