FontFont 2012 – (Not Quite An) Annual Report

One year after their FontFont 2011 – (Not Quite An) Annual Report, FontFont – one of the leading independent font foundries with the largest library of original, contemporary typefaces – did it again with the recently published 2012 edition. This time the report has taken the form of an interactive publication on their website. The FontFeed talked to Lucy Philips, Marketing Manager at FontShop International.

Lucy Philips | “We produced our first (Not quite an) Annual Report for 2011 and thoroughly enjoyed working on the project with Britta Siegmund. The whole idea was to create something to capture the year gone by, to give something to our customers, friends and designers that they could savour and come back to, a long read that would tell our story.”

Lars Krüger in his natural environment.

Why the “Not Quite An” in the title?

Lucy Philips | “With both this year’s and last year’s reports, we wanted to create something a little bit different to the dry and staid formats of standard Annual Reports, where it is all about numbers, statistics and targets. We were keen to go behind the scenes, give our FontFonts the centre stage and also create an enjoyable visual narrative. Admittedly it is a somewhat daunting task trying to capture and cram everything we have made over a year into one coherent work, but it serves as a great exercise for us to try and remember everything we did. With each new release that we have published over the past few years, there have not only been brand new fonts but also a whole raft of new updates, extensions and additions of formats to many of our FontFont families so the Annual Report also serves as a recap of those releases and a chance for all our new or newish/updated FontFonts to shine. To be honest, it’s also a great excuse to get to play with our FontFonts again too!”

Jens helping out with WebFontFonts.

How did you approach the project this year?

Lucy Philips | “We loved the 2011 report and were really pleased with the results, but this year we wanted do something more interactive and easy to access. The team that worked on this year’s edition consisted of Alex Roth, designer magic maker extraordinaire for FontFont and Lars Krüger, Ghostarmy, with help from Clemens, Jörg, Jens, Ivo, myself, Ugla, Veronica and Petra from FontFont. We started out looking at the sections we wanted to include, listing out our news, awards, releases and collecting together some behind the scenes pictures. Alex, Ivo and I then got together to discuss ideas about the form that it could take. For us, the key thing was to make it part of our website, that was easy to access and could be shared easily. Alex and Lars spent a great deal of time working out different iterations and scenarios and creating a visual taxonomy that wove together the images, typefaces and story of our year into one coherent thread. The iterations were many and in fact we actually went back to the drawing board and Alex and Lars completely redid the whole concept in the final two weeks before the launch. There’s a photo story on our Behance profile of the ‘Making of’.”

Alex Roth tweaking the design.

How did the development and production go?

Lucy Philips | “If we’re completely honest, there was lots of blood, bugs, sweat and tears. Alex and Lars spent many a late night grappling with the overall design, and Clemens and Jörg also helped us massively with cracking the code for the responsive design and hunting down pesky bugs, so that it would work on mobile platforms. As I said, we changed our idea towards the very end and the finished piece is actually somewhat different to the final draft. It really makes us appreciate the work of designers and our customers, and the challenges one can be faced with when designing something responsive. Even though there were times when we were tearing our hair out, we learnt loads and are absolutely delighted with the results!”

The FontShop FontFeed

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