This talk took place on October 4th at The San Francisco Public Library as part of Type@Cooper West's Letterform Lecture series. The recording was made possible by a generous sponsorship from Adobe Typekit.
Fonts In Use is an independent archive of practical typography, indexed by typeface, format, industry, and various typesetting styles and techniques. We document and examine graphic design (historical and current) with the goal of improving typographic literacy and appreciation. Founded in 2010 by Sam Berlow, Nick Sherman, and Stephen Coles, the site is now published with the help of Florian Hardwig and Rob Meek, along with hundreds of guest contributors who submit Uses on a daily basis. This talk will examine what we’ve learned from this endeavor over the last five-and-half years, including the ways that real-world usage informs and influences both font users and font makers. Stephen will answer questions such as: What defines a typographic trend? Which uses and discussions have the most resonance, and why? How do graphic designers and type designers use the collection? How do typeface specimens compare to type “in the wild“? What’s the future of Fonts In Use?
Stephen Coles is an editor and typographer living in Oakland and Berlin. He publishes Fonts In Use and Typographica, helps type foundries with editorial content and marketing, and consults with various organizations on typeface selection and licensing. Stephen is author of the book The Anatomy of Type, and serves on the board of the Letterform Archive. He was formerly a creative director at FontShop and a member of the FontFont TypeBoard.