When FontShop (opens in new tab) made the latest iteration of its website open to use as a public beta, I was truly thrilled. I really enjoy interacting with open beta projects and observing how they develop over time to their official (and often soft) launch as the new site.
Created by Edenspiekermann (opens in new tab), the new FontShop site is structured around discovery, encouraging users to interact and engage in ways which work for them. What's brilliant about this is that it creates the feeling of possibility, and allows for an element of serendipity.
By creating what feels like a malleable sandbox in which to interact with type, it allows you to find 'that typeface' you were looking for.
FontShop is not only a one-way channel for discovering and purchasing fonts. The website allows users to contribute their own personal examples for others to enjoy, offering inspiration and practical use cases of fonts.
"The new FontShop is all about the typography. We have something like 30,000 web fonts; it's a showcase of web typography," says Mike Smart, a developer at Edenspiekermann. "We had a team of designers and developers from both Edenspiekermann and FontShop working very closely in an agile way."
Words: Chris Allwood (opens in new tab)
Chris is a digital designer and co-organiser of grassroots event Second Wednesday. He works at Studio Output in Nottingham, UK
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