Type Foundries

There are thousands of fonts to choose from – so how do you decide which typeface to use in a project? Familiarizing yourself with the many fantastic Latin and Arabic “type foundries” is a great place to start. A type foundry is a company that specializes in the production and distribution of typefaces and type families.

Originally, type foundries manufactured and sold metal and wood typefaces and matrices for line-casting machines designed to be printed on letterpress printers. Today’s digital type foundries accumulate and distribute typefaces (typically as digital fonts) created by type designers.

Here’s a list of my favorites to get you started as you explore this wonderful world of type design. Think about the variety each foundry offers and consider the “well-designed” typefaces.


Font Squirrel

Don’t have the cash for a font from a foundry and thinking about using free fonts instead? This can be risky business, but Font Squirrel knows how hard it is to find quality freeware that is licensed for commercial work. They’ve done the hard work, hand-selecting these typefaces and presenting them in an easy-to-use format. Doesn’t that sound like one great resource for your next design project? Please note: Please read the license on each font before you use them.


Veer Typefaces

Check out some of the cool typography posters featured on the VEER website to promote their many fonts and typefaces. That’s right, Veer features over 12,000 (!!) fonts on their site… along with stock images and some pretty awesome merch.

More Type!

Looking for a few more foundries to explore? Below is a list that should keep you occupied for the next few hours:

Looking at Type

Michael Bierut offers “Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Typeface” published on Design Observer. He writes:

“Those thousands of typefaces are still out there, but my recovery has required that I become more discriminating and come up with some answers to this seemingly simple question: why choose a particular typeface? Here are thirteen reasons.”