Goodbye Type.World

I don’t know if anyone saw this coming before me, but I’m shutting down the Type.World Font Installation Technology project. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot about web technology as well as the independent type community and its willingness to collaborate in favour of improving font customers’ user experiences. I hope you all understand that the project can’t be sustained on $4 monthly Patreon donations and only one foundry implementation (by OG Jens Kutilek, who is also the last remaining Patreon donor) several years into its existence. I’ve entered a new stage in my life both professionally and privately and need to move on from trying to help people who indeed didn’t ask for help.

Or figure out how to develop products that people actually want.

To anyone who hasn’t heard about Type.World yet: It was a protocol and end user app for Mac and Windows aimed at dramatically improving the user experience around font installation. Users were supposed to perpetually hold all their acquired fonts, both commercial and free, in a user account inside the app and automatically receive updates to the fonts once they were going to become available. Switching computers, restoring a user’s entire font library would have been as easy as logging into the app on the new computer.
Next to the app and user experience, the project aimed at creating a small but growing ecosystem of independent font foundries (all those supporting the protocol) and to increase their visibility in face of font customers, offering an alternative to the very streamlined font discovery mechanisms of the big monopolies in our industry.
Type.World also offered a user authentication service, enabling font shoppers to re-use one user account across participating foundries, and to have their font purchases automatically added to their Type.World account. Together with a future-planned font discovery service as a website and mobile app, the entire chain of font discovery, purchase, and installation would have become one streamlined experience, all the while keeping the actual selling and hosting of font files decentralized with the foundries.

The entire source code is available on Github. The website, which includes the database and all the moving parts (the API), is still available ready-to-use as a Google Cloud Project, and I’ll be happy to hand over the keys to anyone keen on resurrecting it. It just needs to be turned back on.

Feel free to browse the Twitter account.
The Wayback Machine has a copy of the original website here.

Thanks to everyone who supported me and the project, especially Dave Crossland and all my former Patreon supporters.

Please do follow me over at (Mastodon) for updates on future projects.

— Yanone, October 2023