Hi there, I am looking for some kind of infographic, or a database so that I could make my own infographic, that shows the number of typeface releases (either for a specific foundry like Monotype or a country or worldwide) on a timeline of the 20th and 21st centuries! It is for my dissertation, so any help would be very much appreciated!
Tackling ALL typefaces, form a worldwide perspective, would be a massive undertaking so I'd stick to one major foundry. This also becomes complicated as some foundries get acquired by another foundry resulting in typefaces transfer to the new company, therefore the history of typeface releases isn't exactly straight forward.
The data for releases by any single foundry, however large, vs releases by all foundries, even within a geographic regon, are both quantitatively and qualitatively different. As an infographic, they will look very different and represent something different. The number of releases by any single foundry, even a prolific one, is limited by the number of internally or externally developed typefaces that it can produce or procure in a given amount of time, which is limited by the number of people working, the amount of capital available, etc. But the biggest factor affecting the total number of new typefaces in the past thirty years has been the growing number of new foundries, including individual designer foundries. So an infographic for any single foundry is likely a wiggly line showing more or fewer releases each year, possibly with some spikes where a foundry acquires a collection or another foundries’ output, while an infographic showing collective releases by all foundries is likely a long wiggly line representing the 20th Century, possibly with a dip towards the end of the Century as some foundries failed to make the transition to digital and closed down (e.g. ATF), followed by a strong and now rapidly steepening upswing in the new millennium.
There are books with this stuff in them, although getting the dates from the books to digital would be an incredible amount of work. If you have money you could probably outsource the work to a cheap data entry firm. American Metal Typefaces of the Twenty Century, Encyclopedia of Typefaces, History of the Linotype Company, and Modern Encyclopedia of Typefaces cover metal and a lot of photo type. Fontbook (fourth edition, 2006) and Linotype A Z contain dates for thousands of digital fonts, although revivals show the original year of design and not the date of the digital version. The three Indie Fonts books have dates for thousands of fonts by independent designers from the 1990s and early 2000s, they have stuff that’s not in Fontbook or the Linotype book.
yes, this is a big question to tackle, i am trying to show how the typeface industry has grown exponentially in the last few decades. the overarching discussion for the dissertation is the typeface as a commercial commodity, and so i am trying to highlight at which point the industry changed into a place for anyone to make and sell their own typeface designs
it would be very interesting to hear your thoughts on this topic!
2. eCommerce, 1998
I produced many more typefaces before OpenType, when the standard was only a couple of hundred glyphs in a font: basic Western Latin and no features (pardon my Eurocentrism). The lessening of my output was offset, in the big picture, by all the new foundries entering the fray.
@rosea14 if you're looking for some large datasets, MyFonts and Fontspring both have APIs that you can sign up to access. You can also contact FontsInUse to request access to their API. Those are the largest datasets I'm aware of.
VdS Kartei (typeface registration cards of the Association of [German] type manufacturers)
~1910-1950: estimated ~2698 typefaces, downloadable at http://www.klingspor-museum.de/Verein-der-Schriftgiessereien-VdS.html
- Handbuch der Schriftarten (Germany)
Sum: 5257 (numbers are estimated based on the number of index pages)
International Type Designer Archivehttp://www.klingspor-museum.de/Kuenstler/Kuenstler_A.html
And many other informations on http://www.klingspor-museum.de/index.html