Nayla Yehia RGD shares her top 5 favourite Type Foundries.
When I search for a typeface, I often get an immediate intuition from the project brief as to which nuances I need to look for. For example, Swiss, but with some personality. Roman, but not outdated and with a manageable ascender height. Slab serif, but with right-angle junctions between the vertical strokes and the serifs and geometric forms. While I do use websites like MyFonts and tools like Typekit and Fontstand to search for typefaces, I like to be aware of the foundries that contribute to their collections and of those that don't.
Below are five type foundries that make my heart flutter:
A lot of times, my print projects involve bilingual typesetting—English and Arabic namely. Free, well-designed Arabic typefaces are not widely available, so I often head to type foundries that retail high quality ones. Most of these foundries also tend to offer Armenian, Cyrillic, Greek, Indian faces etc. and tend to be based out of Europe (notably Holland, which has one of the world's most popular type design programs). Typotheque is one such foundry (and studio), and has several English typefaces after which Arabic typefaces are modeled. So it can be very convenient to buy an English and Arabic pair that were meant to be! But other languages aside, their English typefaces are well designed, with some experimental display faces (how cool are Wind and Woodkit!) that may come in handy when you want to build a type-based brand identity. Lastly, it's helpful that they categorize their fonts based on particular functions you might be interested in.
This type foundry is the child of a four-hand-typography process, so named by founders Veronika Burian and José Scaglione. I design a lot for print, and when I first discovered TypeTogether, many of their typefaces were great for editorial purposes, but had so much style and character. While the little details of their typefaces heavily account for the relationship between ink and paper, they also work very well on screen, thanks to their generous counter spaces and carefully moderated stroke contrast.
I don't recall how I stumbled upon Lost Type Co-op, but this foundry has come such a long way since I did. As its name suggests, it isn't run by one person or studio; it is a collaborative platform through which type designers sell a curated set of fonts. It's the foundry I head to when I am looking for playful—especially display—typefaces. The coolest part about this foundry is that it has a pay-what-you-want option for personal use, so you can test drive a fully-functioning font before committing to it (tip: enter $0 :) ). Or maybe the coolest part is the store, which sells enamel pins, patches, t-shirts and prints? Can't decide!
I discovered Dalton Maag when Effra was all the rage around 2010. This foundry established its reputation through the custom typefaces it designed for globally-recognized giants like the BBC, Samsung, Nokia and Intel. You might have already encountered many of its typefaces out there—on Netflix and Airbnb, at Lush, or during Rio 2016. What I deeply appreciate about it is how internationally diverse its team and typefaces are. So you can expect that a foundry that designs at such a scale has a collection that spans all your needs and beyond. And the best part is: you can also download trial versions before committing.
Finally, no list on type foundries would be complete without a nod to the great type design that comes out of Latin America. Sudtipos is an Argentina-based studio that relies on the talent of designers, illustrators and calligraphers from countries such as Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela and Spain. With a big portfolio of script typefaces that have been used across brand marks, liquor bottle labels, food and cosmetics packaging and book covers, it is apparent that they hold their calligraphy pens and brushes very close to their hearts.