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10 Years of Fonts In Use

Looking at the present and future state of the website after its first decade.

Contributed by Nick Sherman on Dec 21st, 2020.
    10 Years of Fonts In Use 2
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    Fonts In Use officially launched 10 years ago today, on December 21, 2010. The site, which started as just the Blog before opening up to public contributions in 2012, has grown far beyond our expectations when we first set out to create a platform for documenting and discussing typography in the real world. Since then, the site has amassed a collection of almost 17,000 designs, each using at least one of over 12,000 typeface families from more than 3,500 type companies.

    Such an extensive amount of information would not exist without the hard work and moderation from our staff, past and present. It also would not be possible without submissions from the nearly 2,400 readers like you who have submitted designs to the Collection.

    The information about those designs constantly grows as well, thanks to almost 7,000 comments that continue to expand beyond each submission’s original context. We’re proud that Fonts In Use is a website where we can still look forward to reading substantial, thoughtful, and insightful comments.

    As much as the content is the backbone of the site, it also would not be possible without the generous support from our sponsors. They’ve helped the project remain a practical reality that we can continually build on and improve over time.

    So what’s in store for the next 10 years at Fonts in Use? As the site continues to grow at an increasing rate, we’ve been discussing ways to help visitors discover the information that’s most interesting to them without getting bogged down by everything else. The next big change will likely be a revised homepage design where we can highlight multiple cross-sections of the database – especially the content that might otherwise be buried or underappreciated.

    Over the past 10 years we’ve also built up a substantial amount of information about the fonts themselves, and we’re working on making that information more useful and accessible beyond the context of just how the fonts are used. The historical information and links between related typefaces have become essential tools for our own work, and we’d love to build on that by offering even more helpful ways to explore typefaces.

    Finally, we hope to expand the scope of the site even further, to include more information about typography beyond our current focus on Latin-based text. Over the years we’ve enjoyed an increasing number of submissions from contributors with expertise in Chinese, Japanese, Korean/Hangul, Arabic, Cyrillic, Greek, Hebrew, and more. We look forward to continuing to promote more diverse content from even more segments of the type-using community, making Fonts In Use increasingly helpful for anyone interested in typography.

    The statistics numbers on this page are set in Etna XX Condensed from Mark Simonson Studio who has been a sponsor of Fonts In Use for a majority of our 10-year existence.

    Typefaces

    • Etna
    • Relay

    5 Comments on “10 Years of Fonts In Use

    1. I remember the day vividly. On my fifth coffee at St. Oberholz in Berlin, chatting with Nick on AIM about final adjustments as our fingers hovered nervously over the launch button. It was the year after I left FontShop and took the plunge on freelance. Fonts In Use changed my life!

      Like Nick said, the site has grown beyond our imaginations, mostly thanks to Rob Meek who keeps the gears turning, and Florian Hardwig, whose big heart and brain makes the site continually relevant and useful amid a deluge of half-finished submissions. Florian is ably assisted by Matthijs Sluiter. Without them we wouldn’t keep up.

      I will also always be thankful for early collaborators (Sam Berlow, Indra Kupferschmid, Tânia Raposo, André Mora) who believed in the project and helped make it real and good. 🍻

      I’m looking forward to working with Caren Litherland (my co-editor at Typographica) on more editorial stuff to encapsulate typographic trends and make sense of the incoming uses. Our ideas include a newsletter and more meta posts in the Blog.

    2. Happy birthday! Congratulations and thank you for creating such an important compendium on contemporary (and historical!) typography and its use. xx

    3. Happy 10th-anniversary! Fonts in Use is one of my favourite sites on the internet and an absolute reference. Thanks for making it possible and for the hard work. <3

    4. Meaulnes says:
      Dec 22nd, 2020 2:57 pm

      Joyeux dixième anniversaire ! Vous êtes mon site de référence. Merci pour votre travail et longue vie à Fonts in use.

    5. Chris Purcell says:
      Dec 22nd, 2020 5:54 pm

      Congratulations on the big one-oh!

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