We're working on a new project: a font index to help graphic designers discover typefaces from different sources (distributors, online services, independent foundries, etc..).
We posted a thread on Twitter explaining what we want to do:
For this to be useful, we'll need a lot of foundries onboard. We won't build a dynamic type tester (that would require access to font files and would be a major security/licensing issue) but multiple screenshots of the typefaces.
We could automatically build this huge font index using screenshots from websites we parsed (by injecting a custom CSS and taking a screenshot of the typefaces), but we want to do this by the book and ask for your feedback and authorization first.
I hope you'll appreciate this project and if you have a few minutes to spare, I would love to hear your feedback
Looking at the thread from @Jan Pietkiewicz I was hoping for more answers/questions from the community 😅
Of course the question is: can you pull it off? (Hopefully you can!) Will your AI-powered recommendation algorhithm actually work? (With time and enough traffic, it could.) Will your website be appealing to enough graphic designers? (So far, it looks good.) Is not having a live text preview box something they can live with? (Hopefully yes, for many of them. See the success of futurefonts and fontsinuse. Though I still think adding it would make this even better.) Will this be actively developed over coming years? (Time will tell, I suppose.)
Also, what's in it for you? How is this generating income for Fonts Ninja?
For finding 'similar' fonts, I would have thought that you went with a more human-based approach. For example, you could ask type designers who sign up to list similar fonts to their own. Or you could have a simple question on every font page: 'which of these two fonts looks most like this font?' With machine learning, loads of data are key, and I think you need to find ways to collect that data.
Given the priority of trial fonts for graphic designers, will they be downloadable directly from your website? I think that graphic designers would appreciate that, and type designers could always be given the option to refrain from this if they don't want to have their fonts on your server...
Will users be able to bookmark/save lists of fonts?
That's a good idea. So far I just designed the UI to put the foundry's website first and more visible. But You're right, there is definetely something that we can improve here
Thank you! 🙏
What I’d like to see in a search tool is a separation between what a typeface is and what a typeface can be used for. A search for a medieval typeface could bring up typefaces based on real medieval alphabets while a search for a typeface for medieval themes could bring up Arts & Crafts “medieval” typefaces. A search for Greek typefaces could bring up typefaces designed by Greek designers. A search for typefaces with Greek support could bring up typefaces which support Greek but otherwise have no Greek connections. A search for a typeface which can be used for Greek themes might bring up pseudo-Greek and stereotypical angular designs. In current search tools, a search for Greek usually prioritizes the latter.