Elliot Jay Stocks is a designer, speaker, and author. He is the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit, the founder of typography magazine 8 Faces, one half of Viewport Industries, and an electronic musician.

Typecast joins Monotype

Posted on 30 October 2012 Comments

Last week, my friends at Front celebrated the public beta launch of their excellent Typecast app — a browser-based web-typesetting tool that I’ve been going on about during every event I’ve spoken at for the last year or so — and I’ve been meaning to blog about it for a few days now. But today they’ve just announced some even bigger news: they’ve been acquired by Monotype!

To me, this feels like great news for everyone involved. I’ve been lucky enough to beta-test Typecast since its very early stages and the app has gone from strength to strength. What started as a basic typesetting tool has turned into (what I believe should be) a core part of any web design project. Two personal milestones in the app’s development were the introduction of multiple font delivery services and the ability to display — and sort by — OpenType support. If you saw me talk at this year’s Ampersand or TYPO Berlin conferences, I spoke about the latter at length, and it really is an impressive feature. I wish we’d had this when I redesigned Smashing Magazine.

Screenshot of Typecast
Filter fonts by OpenType features, turn features on and off, and display them based on your own browser’s support. Amazing.

Sometimes buy-outs sadden me, like saying goodbye to an old friend. This one, though, makes a lot of sense for both the purchaser and the purchased, and Typecast is going nowhere. Happily, it means that the app can continue to develop rather than succumb to the financial pressures of client work:

We started facing tough choices. How could we keep making Typecast better AND run the company? A return to client work would mean we could pay the bills, but it would significantly slow progress on Typecast. To continue focusing on Typecast alone would mean raising external funding. Monotype couldn’t have chosen a better time to reach out to us.

~ The Typecast team

Today has been a good day for web type, good design, and a great bunch of lads. Oh, and look: they’re on the BBC! Congrats, all.

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