Best Foundry Sites

What are your favorite websites of foundries? Not the fonts, just the site design.

Comments

  • Ofir ShavitOfir Shavit Posts: 326
    edited August 31
    Fontef.com 
    Brand new (from about a month ago), of Yanek Iontef, Israeli indie type designer.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 161
    Differs according to whether you're licensing or browsing. E.g. do you mean good UX / UI for marketing or licensing? With approval processes of a mid-to-large business, the "browsing" stage is typically on a different day to the "licensing" stage.

    Despite browsing from an indie shop front, I often end up licensing from myfonts and font spring over individual foundry sites because:

    a) predictable, e.g. it gives license details up front;
    b) login is quick (many sites don't offer guest login);
    c) quick, clutter-free page load.

    Google Fonts is great for perusing / filtering. All our designers use it for browsing over our font management system. I've never seen that happen with our other font libraries.
  • If I had to pick a major player's site, it would be MyFonts. Though I don't like that they changed the site to always default to showing image tiles, it is the easiest to browse, navigate and purchase from for me.

    That said, I prefer simpler sites. I don't need fully interactive sites. I don't need a slider to show me a half dozen tiles. 
  • Mike, I think the question refers to Foundry sites, ie. Companies or individuals that produce fonts. MyFonts is a distributor. 
  • for me its http://www.type-together.com/ and Bold Monday. Both have stunning design, and allow you to preview the font rendering, change size, leading, text, font style, opentype features, amazing. choosing different sizes and previewing live Rendering, is particularly important, for choosing fonts on Windows, to ensure the hinting is good, which it is for all their fonts, its excellent. https://boldmonday.com/ Another standout, design wise, stunning. Being able to preview how a font will work on the Web is critical I think.






  • Mike, I think the question refers to Foundry sites, ie. Companies or individuals that produce fonts. MyFonts is a distributor. 
    Actually resellers are fine too, sorry for the confusion.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 77
    edited September 1
    From aforementioned, I agree TypeTogether has stunning look, and a clean one, too, but usability? – not as much. I've just tried to create an account and for the first time I thought my browser froze because I couldn't click CREATE, though it looked like I filled out all I needed. So I refreshed the site, and meticulously filled in all the fields again, only to discover why the previous trial failed – I had not selected country. So I tried to do this right that time, and I found the country list uncomfortable – lists of this kind should be searcheable comboboxes, not lists of checkboxes one needs to scroll all the way down and then aim at the right box. But I had scrolled all the way to the middle, clicked, and tried to proceed only to find out the address cannot contain non-ASCII characters, and do so in not-such-a-design-wise-stunning way (a plain text, non-html error message). So I tried to create the account for the third time, but it appeared that the account had been created, only the personal data (none of it!!) was not persisted.

    I'm sorry if I'm being vicious (I tend to), or too detailed, just wanted to get through with the full experience.

    No, actually, I'm not. I then tried to update the data, but whatever I tried, clicking UPDATE would just refresh the site and clean the forms, except for the email, password and name.

  • I second the BoldMonday site for this: It has attractive visuals (required for their more quirky stuff) but also offers plenty of options to test normal typesetting. The try options are less advanced than try.typography, but it's enough.

    Another site I quite like is the one from Schick Toïkka, which is only "flawed" by it's too designey interface (it has a reason, but the bottom of the screen isn't the first place you look for options).

    That out of they way: The site is clean, clear and offers good testing, and you can quickly check some size examples just by clicking the texts. (this is a bit unclear, since you actually expect an edit mode, but I actually find it more usable) I also like the smart "swap contrast" button at the bottom of the interface, since sometimes you don't want to copy hex codes all the time. The entire viewport changes colours so the interface doesn't clash.

    I won't get into names, but the foundry world also has some sites which are totally unusable (three come to mind immediately, which actually sell some of the best (Latin) typefaces available this day). Some things are almost unacceptable: Still running flash, 300 pixel images. But others issues are things like having no examples of running texts/proofs and only an "ABC". unclear, badly rendered GIF's and impossible to navigate.

    It's quite a world of opposites at least! New foundries trying to make a name certainly invest quite a bit into a slick site, I'd like to know if it pays off in comparison to something more simple.

  • I challenge anybody to beat how bad my site is. But at least it hasn't changed since 2000.
  • If you need a hand with it, just say.
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 161
    edited September 3
    Thinking out loud... I'd be interested whether trial licensing influences the use of online testing features.
  • Thinking out loud... I'd be interested whether trial licensing influences the use of online testing features.
    How so?
  • Katy MawhoodKaty Mawhood Posts: 161
    edited September 3
    Given the option, do users have a preference for (a) online testing (b) trial licenses? For example, when working across stakeholders, there is value in maintaining a consistent environment for font software testing and use across products (both licensed, and trial licensed).

    With online website testing, licensed fonts are not directly comparable with unlicensed fonts because the environment is different.
  • Given the option, do users have a preference for (a) online testing (b) trial licenses.
    Do you mean that if a trial license is offered, an online tester is unnecessary? I guess in theory, but I would think the convenience of the latter makes it always expected.
  • I've never bought fonts because of either online testing or trial licenses. Neither has a cut-down version nor a free style been an inducement. I purchase fonts either because the job dictates it or because I like the shape and glyph coverage I desire or need is present. 

    How a site looks is also not a consideration to me as long as I can see what I am buying. How well a site works would be an issue to me if the font is available elsewhere. 

    I may not be the typical font buyer. I dunno. 
  • Jasper de WaardJasper de Waard Posts: 206
    edited September 3
    @Mike Wenzloff
    Why people say they buy things, and why they actually buy things, are two completely different things. Choices like purchases are usually largely driven by unconscious emotional stimuli, only to be rationalized (consciously) after the choice has already been made.

    So besides the obvious functionality reasons for having a good website, it should come as no surprise that a good website will reflect on the perceived quality of the typefaces (known as the halo effect).

    What would interest me A LOT are the conversion rates between different foundry websites.

    I myself don't have the time to give my website a much-needed overhaul at the moment.

    On my personal taste: Klim.co.nz hasn't been mentioned yet. Monokrom.no is also a beauty. When it comes to type foundries, I'm a sucker for websites that are largely in black and white.
  • Just some thoughts from someone who overshow a redesign last year and a microsite this year:

    When we did our redesign our mantra was "it's a website, not a magazine." (a little less so with the microsite). It was very helpful and not easy to stay true to.  For as long as there have been foundry websites they have been the showroom for the studio and as our business moves increasingly to users anticipating web we need to make sure we showcase web typography interacting with good UI.  Our user session data shows that people find our site intuitive.  If you have specific feedback please pm me.  
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