MyType.io: Will this service help you?

Hi! This is David Kim in MyType Team!

https://mytype.io/ is a font market platform for designers to search fonts much easier. We are utilizing artificial intelligence technology to classify fonts and provide a user experience that is easier and faster to find fonts.

I want to ask you if the service we are creating is going to be useful, so I’m writing here.

Let me introduce our service. There will be many images.

Both designers who use fonts and designers who create fonts have big problems.

- Font users enter multiple font sites to find their own feelings. And they look up using various font categories and knowledge, but the results with the fonts are sorted regardless of each other so that they have to gaze one by one.

- Because of poor search engines based on tags, making their fonts stand out is a big problem for font creators. This feature forces font creators to put information that is definitely not related to fonts (even Sans Serif and Serif are included together…) And receive chicken feed.

We have created a style-based search platform to solve these problems! This is a way to solve problems for both font users and font creators!


This picture is the first page of our landing page. First, there are five buttons that let you use our service simply. When you click on the font, the buttons change to the fonts that are similar with the font you choose. If you're interested, you can check out our service by clicking Try Full Version.


Then you will see this screen. You can choose category, Slant and Weight just like existing font search platform. If you do not know what you want, you can just click the Search button to see it all!


I want to see Display and Handwriting here, I have selected two and set the Weight as above. Then press the Search button.


Voila! Many fonts are coming! It's not just search results, but similar styles, so it's much easier to find! I like the League Script, but do not like it a bit. So what should I do?


Click the arrow next to the font card to open a new window. Let 's start with the first Focus this Style.


New results are loading! I can see a lot of letters similar to League Script. I like Miss Fajardose here!


By the way, I think that handwriting is too complicated. But I want the style like League Script. Then click Similar Style at. And I want Sans Serif, so let's click on Sans.


Results are at the top that are Sans Serif and as thin as League Script! With MyType, it will be really easy to find fonts!

This system does not sort with the most recent fonts, the most used fonts or alphabetically, but purely the design of fonts. 

This system recommends exactly what the user wants, so the fonts are not buried by other fonts and are hardly not exposed! So when they uploading fonts, there is no reason to worry about strange tags or marketing strategies. Only the font design will be considered! Mytype do not even get the commission as much as other font sites.

Our service is in mytype.io and anyone can check it. In addition, we are currently recruiting font creators. If you submit free fonts for beta launching, the fonts are able to get exposure to search results!

Bug reports and feedback are always welcome. We hope this service will help you to find some fonts.


David.

Comments

  • Here's the results is grammatically incorrect. Here are the results. I've already told you this, but you need to step up your communication game if you want to be taken seriously.
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    Here's the results is grammatically incorrect. Here are the results. I've already told you this, but you need to step up your communication game if you want to be taken seriously.
    We are also worried about grammar issues a lot. First of all, we hire an interpreter and are gradually improving it to give you a good experience. Thank you very much for your continuous feedback!
  • It is an interesting approach, in the first place. However, a quick trial delivered a search result such as this:


    – there are totally different styles mixed together and I feel somehow lost with it.

    I would be interested in what is the actual data base for selection and sorting.



  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    edited February 6
    It is an interesting approach, in the first place. However, a quick trial delivered a search result such as this:

    – there are totally different styles mixed together and I feel somehow lost with it.

    I would be interested in what is the actual data base for selection and sorting.




    First of all, we use 1266 fonts in Google Fonts. I think the reason why there are different styles mixed together is the lack of dataset. Our artificial intelligence loses its way when there is no font similar to the font you choose. It probably thinks that font is similar, but we human don't. 

    Let me explain the algorithm of selection and sorting. we create an AI system by following the neural network of the eyes so that looks at the style of the fonts and selects similar things. It sounds a bit strange, but it's possible these days.

    We are trying to improve what you said. Anyway, thank you for your feedback!
  • David Kim said:

    … we create an AI system by following the neural network of the eyes so that looks at the style of the fonts and selects similar things.

    I have no clue at all about AI. And I fail to imagine what “following the neural network of the eyes” has any to do with my (or someone’s) thoughts about evaluating and selecting typefaces. Perhaps it’s just me.
  • AI can do specific tasks in such a way that the outcome equals or at least resembles what would have happened if a human performed the task. So, in theory, an AI system could evaluate and select typefaces like a human being, only faster, and without the need to take breaks, or personal peculiarities. Whether this has ever been done, by MyType or anyone else, is a different matter.
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    edited February 6
    I have no clue at all about AI. And I fail to imagine what “following the neural network of the eyes” has any to do with my (or someone’s) thoughts about evaluating and selecting typefaces. Perhaps it’s just me.

    Basically, we use our eyes when choosing fonts. So we mimic them in algorithm! that's all about AI stuff.

    Our AI system can see and recommend fonts similar to the font you choose. So, you don't need to gaze all of the fonts one by one. I think it is better search engine for designers. But, we have to improve it more accurate. Thank you for your feedback!
  • Rather than trying to teach a NN to determine stylistic characteristics, I think you are much more likely to get useful data by grabbing human-provided metadata such as the categories in Google Fonts and user-provided public tags in myfonts or similar, and then using latent semantic indexing to arrange the fonts into a high-dimensional "style space". We already have huge amounts of data about which fonts have what characteristics, so it would make sense to use that rather than try to replicate it from scratch.
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    AI can do specific tasks in such a way that the outcome equals or at least resembles what would have happened if a human performed the task. So, in theory, an AI system could evaluate and select typefaces like a human being, only faster, and without the need to take breaks, or personal peculiarities. Whether this has ever been done, by MyType or anyone else, is a different matter
    Thank you for the good explanation!
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    edited February 6
    Rather than trying to teach a NN to determine stylistic characteristics, I think you are much more likely to get useful data by grabbing human-provided metadata such as the categories in Google Fonts and user-provided public tags in myfonts or similar, and then using latent semantic indexing to arrange the fonts into a high-dimensional "style space". We already have huge amounts of data about which fonts have what characteristics, so it would make sense to use that rather than try to replicate it from scratch.
    Yes, I already thought about that. However, all of the metadata contains strange information. (e.g. san-serif and serif together included) So we removed some noises and tried but low hit rate occurs. Thus, we decided to "see" the fonts. I think huge amounts of public tags and information are useless, because they are made by SEO marketing. We think that noise is provoked by tag-based system and we made this style-based system! Anyway, thank you for your feedback!
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 892
    I agree that tags would be misleading.

    From trying to identify fonts with my own eyes, I can more easily identify a font by looking at its heavier weights that its lighter weights. I think trying identify a typeface by looking at ultra-lights is like trying to identify a person while wearing X-Ray glasses. If you were to manually define each typeface's "index weight" and use that for identification.
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    I agree that tags would be misleading.

    From trying to identify fonts with my own eyes, I can more easily identify a font by looking at its heavier weights that its lighter weights. I think trying identify a typeface by looking at ultra-lights is like trying to identify a person while wearing X-Ray glasses. If you were to manually define each typeface's "index weight" and use that for identification.
    Hello! Yes, I agree with that. So, we are making a system that can identify weights and slants statically i.e. with one standard. I hope you will see it soon :smile:  Thank you for your interest!
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13

    If you are looking to get designers involved I for one would like who you are, where you are, where my font data is stored, where the payments are coming from; just off the top of my head.

    Thank you for your feedback! To reflect your advice, we are remodeling landing page now. I hope you see it soon! And we will add explanation about terms and contracts (why and how it can give you 80% etc.)
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    Expanding on Johannes' point, A neural network could in principle learn to categorize type, but only if your data set included a very large amount of information about each font beyond their appearance. This would have to include information on where, when, and by whom each font was made, along with cultural information about the designer, information about how that font has been used in the past, etc.
    Thank you for your insight! We deeply understand what you are concerning, so we are going to revise our UI/UX for searching. I think AI can't be trained those, but UX can fix problems you said efficiently. We will try to dissolve your advice to our service in any direction.
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    edited February 14
    Your issue is that you think of font categories as clean data sets, previously provided by humans, and you want to teach your AI to use the same characteristics by which humans differentiate those categories.

    Actually, I am not using datasets made by human. We are using convolutional neural network which is pretrained by ImageNet (yeah, it is made by human, but the feature vector through the network is not correlated to the categories) and some techniques. That is, our AI is not using any data of category or weight etc, but visual features like human. However, we have recently felt the need to create data like Apple or Spotify like you said, so we decided to do. Thank you for your feedback!
  • edited February 14
    David Kim said:
    Your issue is that you think of font categories as clean data sets, previously provided by humans, and you want to teach your AI to use the same characteristics by which humans differentiate those categories.

    Actually, I am not using datasets made by human. We are using convolutional neural network which is pretrained by ImageNet (yeah, it is made by human, but the feature vector through the network is not correlated to the categories) and some techniques. That is, our AI is not using any data of category or weight etc, but visual features like human. However, we have recently felt the need to create data like Apple or Spotify like you said, so we decided to do. Thank you for your feedback!
    That is precisely the problem. Image scanning software, or image recognition based AI, is not compatible with the way fonts are classified. Typeface classification is pretty old, it grew historically and only in the last century the terminology used in typography today emerged.
    Typography is a craft, a field with a lot of tradition. That means it’s not only old, but there is a lot of knowledge in it. Abandoning this long development and trying to reinvent it through AI, by completely cutting out what shaped the type design scene for the past 65,000 years or so, is quite ignorant and if you ask me, poised to fail.
    Type design, or typography, is not an “art form” like painting styles. It is more related to architecture, if anything if you’re looking at the historic roots of font styles over the centuries. But today, these classifications (and crossover developments) are all part of a postmodern story.
    I doubt you will be able to train your AI without any input from people who studied this subject for many centuries.
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    edited February 15
    Typography is a craft, a field with a lot of tradition. That means it’s not only old, but there is a lot of knowledge in it. Abandoning this long development and trying to reinvent it through AI, by completely cutting out what shaped the type design scene for the past 65,000 years or so, is quite ignorant and if you ask me, poised to fail.

    Thank you for the feedback! To reflect your opinion, I am planning to make the AI see typographical features, which will take a long time. Although artificial intelligence may not have as much knowledge as the person making the font, I think it can at least shorten the time for those who choose fonts. And I think the shortened time will make more profit to typographers. That is the purpose of this service. We keep investigating how designers choose fonts, and we will try to make it as good as possible so that everyone can be satisfied.
  • edited February 15
    I will stop pushing this point, but a craft and a tradition is hardly just an opinion. I was explaining the reasons why your AI efforts fail – and will keep failing – because the principles you are putting behind the system ignore the traditional way of classifying typefaces.
    If you are applying image recognition software on images, an AI is capable to differentiate humans from animals with a relatively high success rate. It is able to differentiate architecture from natural elements, such as trees, as well. That’s due to the physical structure of things, many animals having four to six or eight legs, trees having an entirely different shape than houses, but they are related to one and another within each group – so datasets become pretty straight forward and ambiguity is relatively small.
    With typefaces, none of this is the case. It’s as if you wanted to train an AI to differentiate various wine labels by looking at the colour variation in red wine. And while looking at just the colour, you want to teach the AI to differentiate Cabernet from Shiraz. In our case, with the shape of glyphs in fonts, you want the AI to differentiate a humanistic sans-serif from a grotesque, or a  transitional serif from a Geralde font.
    An additional difficulty is that many modern fonts are rarely one thing or the other, they are sometimes both. We see a new breed of fonts that have features of a geometric sans-serif, as well as a grotesque, for an example.
    Without actual classification data (meta tags) applied by humans to datasets, labelling them with the correct tags, your idea is a task designed to fail.
  •  craft and a tradition is hardly just an """opinion""".
    I strongly agree that typography is a collection of traditions and AI systems are hard to catch right away. So we are currently creating a system that creates metadata and uses it. That didn't mean not to agree. Thank you for your continuous feedback!
  • David KimDavid Kim Posts: 13
    edited February 18
    Consider the purpose of the classification in this case: creating accurate search results on a website that sells fonts. Machine learning might not be helpful in the general classification of type; at least not machine learning as it functions in 2019. But are customers going to be searching only by using historical classification terms? I think they're likely to also use:
    • physical charactertistics
    • well known typeface names
    • theme
    • intended use
    Thank you for the idea! That will be helpful to improve hit rate of our search engine. But now, we are making something different from this. So, when we are done, I will try to deal with your idea! (Maybe at April)
  • JoyceKettererJoyceKetterer Posts: 269
    @Miles Newlyn If I take the question literally I agree with you.  But I don't think that's the right way to think about this.  

    We know that users feel overwhelmed but the choices of fonts.  We know users like to see fonts in lists.  I think user data will prove that the real purpose of this kind of service is to provide a way for users to to find lists of fonts that feel a little bit easier to digest.  I say "feel" because it might be a complete fiction - what really matters is the psychological result. 

    So I'd suggest this alternate question:  What kind of service provide users with a way to slay the tyranny of choice and have the illusion of control over the list?

    There's a chance that fontsinuse search data and user behavior data can already tell us something about my hypothesis.  @Florian Hardwig@Stephen Coles? @Nick Sherman?  Google might also have some hints, @Dave Crossland?  I'd also ask Mary Catherine but I don't think she's a member?
  • Stephen ColesStephen Coles Posts: 753
    edited March 30
    @Miles Newlyn, I see what you’re getting at: typeface selection by surface appearance alone is reductive. But I argue it’s also reductive to say a tool like this isn’t useful, especially if it’s among a set of other type selection tools.

    The curation of the foundries included in such a guide has other important functions, including introducing the public to typefaces from independent creators beyond what is available on the most popular platforms (chiefly: MyFonts, Adobe Fonts, Google Fonts). The usefulness of MyType.io’s particular approach is certainly debatable, but I think there is a lot of value in discovery platforms that include a significant plurality of underexposed foundries.

    @JoyceKetterer is absolutely right. There is a huge need for typeface guides of all sorts. Fonts In Use plays some of that role. We haven’t studied the data, but I’ve seen plenty of anecdotal evidence that designers use our platform to find new typefaces and inform their selection. 

    We’re drifting away from the topic at hand. I just want to reinforce the notion that guides like MyType.io can be very good for indie producers like Miles, even if they focus on a single aspect of type selection.
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