Great news for font addicts and typography collectors. Early this week Fonts In Use opened up their doors for public contributions. Launched in late 2010 by Sam Berlow, my original partner-in-font-geekery Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman, the website originally was a blog showing real-world examples of type in action. Exploring type specimens is a nice way to discover new type designs, but nothing beats seeing how typefaces are applied in the real world, how they behave in context, on actual design artefacts. The role Fonts In Use plays as a public archive of typographic design is invaluable, because it helps improve typographic literacy and appreciation.
And now the new version introduces the Collection, a much larger database open to contributions from visitors. Those visitors are invited to create an account and start adding showcases. To make adding images even easier and quicker, a bookmarklet was created. All that is required is one or more images that clearly show the typeface(s), and a title. Of course adding a description, commentary, typeface tags, or other metadata makes your entry more valuable, but strictly speaking those are not required.
I am really curious to see how this new iteration of Fonts In Use will grow. Will it be a self-regulating initiative that grows into an even more valuable repository of quality examples? Will it be used by foundries for self-promotion? Will it start featuring typefaces of dubious quality? Only the future will tell, but I for one am quite excited about this development, and wish the website’s founders and contributors nothing but the best.