This assignment begins with the instruction to research on-line type foundries. So it seemed helpful to find an website dedicated to keeping track of different foundries:
I’m aware that it’s easy to just keep finding foundries by googling and not really understand their origins. I decided to look at a text book and see if it contained more information. In ‘Type & Typography second edition, by Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam’ an explanation is offered for the early naming or foundation of type companies:
“With the arrival of mechanical composition at the end of the nineteenth century, type companies became complex commercial concerns with considerable financial backing and large numbers of shareholders. While a few of these names retained reference to their original inventor, the trend- which continues today- was to invent ones that reflected the technology of the day and/or their product” – Taken from page 103 of Type & Typography, Second Edition, by Phil Baines & Andrew Haslam Published 2005 by Laurence King Publishing Ltd.
I also found looking through the book three type foundries or companies that still exist today, some in slightly different formats:
International Typeface Corporation:
ITC was founded in New York around 1970 and it was considered an unusual company as it did not manufacture equipment for creating type,. The company licensed typeface designs to others for use in their own machinery. They advertised the typefaces through a magazine named U&Ic, this was published up until 1999.
In the 1980’s they went online and by 2000 has been acquired by Agfa Monotype. I think they still exist today, and below is a link to the website:
Emigre began life in San Francisco, created by Zuzana Licko and Rudy Vanderlands. They were among the first to develop Macintosh. The magazine of the same name was a platform for discussing, promoting and experimenting with typefaces for the Macintosh. They also showcased typefaces by other young designers and used their publications to promote them. Today’s website is:
FontShop International (FSI) & FontFonts
FSI was started by Erik Spiekermann to sell PostScript typefaces to anyone wanting to use them! Today their site hosts other type foundries and acts as a place of discovery. I really like the layout and categorisation of fonts into families. It’s a clean, clear page, where the typefaces shine and aren’t obscured by adverts or more information, see link below:
Further thoughts on research
It’s easy for me to get bogged down in all the information (as in written text) when looking at the websites of the different type foundries. So I decided one way for me to analyse them would be to create little mock-up’s or examples of their layout to try and capture how they’ve approached displaying their fonts.
I drew simple fine liner drawings in my sketchbook of some site’s layouts: