Online, everyone’s a design critic. We don’t have to like it. But we can’t avoid it. Which makes Fonts in Use, a new site by designers Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman, a refreshing addition to the blogosphere: It catalogs and analyzes typography found in designs all over the world. And it does so — gasp! — intelligently.
The whole thing is presented as a field guide to modern-day font usage. So arranged in tiles on the homepage, you’ve got a nice little sampling of typographic stories, from the saga of Futura and Benton Modern in W to the the tale of ITC Franklin in a Ford ad. Think of it as The Hollywood Reporter for type dorks.
The founders are veteran designers — two of ’em come from the exalted type foundry The Font Bureau — and it’s patently clear they aren’t afraid to get dishy. Here’s Coles on a Didoni branding scheme: “The only typographic negligence is found in some of the smaller headlines where less care was taken to fix URW Didoni’s inadequate kerning.” That naughty font!
Such wonkiness will certainly warm the site to seasoned designers and type fanboys alike. (They’ve got to be the target audience here, anyway.) As for the kibitzers: Visit at your own risk. You might actually learn something.