A Designer’s Font Playground

Hoefler & Co. recently launched a font playground of sorts: Discover.typography.

The nascent site encourages interaction with fonts as well as presents fonts in their “natural habitat” for easier appreciation and identification. Selecting one of the few current examples brings up a display of several fonts in nicely designed layouts.

Users are given the chance to, as they put it, “see how a font performs, especially in the company of other typefaces.” A size slider lets the user zoom in on the design for closer inspection. Clicking on any type highlights only the uses of that family in the layout and gently urges the user to shop for that font.

The resulting product page lists the entire family (or set), lets the user choose multipurpose or web versions, and even offers suggested font pairings with helpful visuals.

Though the ultimate goal of this Hoefler & Co site is to sell fonts, I’m hoping the Discovery.typography site quickly fills up with fun new examples of inspiration and creativity.


Posted on: July 7, 2014

Erica Gamet

Erica Gamet has been involved in the graphics industry for over 25 years. She is a speaker, writer, and trainer, focusing on Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, Apple Keynote and iBooks Author, and other print- and production-related topics. She is a regular contributor to InDesign Magazine, tech edited How To Do Everything with Adobe InDesign CS4, and served as leader of the Denver InDesign User Group. After living as a nomad for almost a year, she recently put down roots in El Paso, Texas, where she hikes and bikes every chance she gets. Check out ericagamet.com to see all of Erica's upcoming events, tips and tricks, and workbooks.

4 Comments on A Designer’s Font Playground

  1. Bret Donaldson

    July 9, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    “Font” and “typeface” are not interchangeable terms. A typeface is a particlular style of lettering. A font is what let’s you apply or create with that typeface. In days gone by, fonts were the physical tiny metal letters that would be assembled to print your artwork. Today, it’s software.

    As a long-time designer and type enthusiast, it drives me crazy to hear everyone use “font” as a catchall term. 🙂

  2. There are many schools of thought on the font vs. typeface topic. Not only do we have changes in technology to thank, but also the ever-fluid nature of language itself. There was a great long discussion of this very topic by (I believe) Nigel French…though I can’t find it at the moment. With many things, deciding how you will use a set of terms and sticking with that pattern is the best way to go. I, myself, use the term “typeface” when speaking of a named style of type (Helvetica) and “font” when speaking of the individual form of that typeface (Helvetica Bold). I would refer to the entire group of fonts as a family (The Helvetica family) or as a set (as I did above) if the individual fonts are being bundled together.

  3. And if I had been signed in, you could see that I had written the previous comment. Apologies.

  4. when speaking of the individual form of that typeface (Helvetica Bold).

    Lucy @ http://www.hotellyonouest.com

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