Co.Design

World's First: An Apple Store for Type Geeks [Slideshow]

Swoon! Playtypes.com opens a real-life store where you can buy digital fonts.

Playtype.com, one of Europe's preeminent online font foundries, has opened a gorgeous brick-and-mortar shop in Copenhagen dedicated to flogging digital typefaces.

Customers can walk in off the street and buy fonts loaded on USBs that resemble little credit cards. The shop also sells a ragbag of typographic gifts and paraphernalia, including T-shirts, posters, and even wine (no idea if it's any good, but the bottle sure looks purdy) -- all in a space done up in a lovely black-and-white motif that is itself a monument to typography. Think of it as the type geek's equivalent of an Apple store.

E-Types, the Danish design agency behind Playtype.com, bills the shop as "the first of its kind" in the world. We can't verify that, but it's certainly a departure from the standard practices of the day, in which type foundries, both big and small, distribute their wares as downloads or via email.

So what's the idea here? "The... shop is a way of starting a dialogue with a wider audience about the significance of typography,? says Rasmus Drucker Ibfelt, partner and managing director at e-Types, in press materials. "It is also a place where we can experiment with our craft. The shop gives us a place where our designers can have a cool idea on a Monday and see it come to life in the shop the following week."

The shop will be up for one year only, so you'd better book your plane ticket to Copenhagen like yesterday. More info here

[Images courtesy of e-Types]

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3 Comments

  • Stephen Coles

    I should correct my last judgement. I've never used the fonts, so can't really speak to their quality. I only know that they aren't popular, but perhaps they should be.

  • Stephen Coles

    It's not the first digital type to be sold in a retail store — P22 has been doing that for over a decade with their artist handwriting fonts in museum gift shops — but I think it probably is the first retail store dedicated to digital fonts. 

    Playtype isn't nearly "preeminent" though. It's a small, mostly unknown vendor with interesting, and undiscovered but not necessarily top-of-the-line fonts.