Look at the fonts below:
Distinct, aren’t they? Some are classic, some vintage, while some are of the contemporary times. It may sound atypical if I say that fonts and different typography reflect an era’s culture and hence, must be preserved. But, it is true; we may not deem it as important but typography can be of immense value, not just to designers but also to students, archaeologists and preservationists. To know how a community writes means to understand the small details defining the culture of that community or time period. And like preservation of languages has gained so much importance, app developers are now allotting significance to recognizing and preserving typography.
And no, I am not just talking about the type-faces that you see in Microsoft Word, but those unique, real fonts adorning our cities and streets, from neon signs to hand painted typography. Fontly, a free iPhone app, aims to preserve these ‘typographical treasures’.
The app lets a user take snapshots of unique, lesser seen typography and add them to a Fontly map; or you could even use the map and discover what other users have posted. Giving a much needed respite from the usual photo and video sharing apps, Fontly puts forth an interesting idea. As the creator of the app, Brenden Ciecko, says the typography of yesteryear is uniquely suited for telling us stories about the cities and towns we live in. According to him, typography is more than just a plain signage on stores and buildings; there is a story about places, people and time and that this story lives in signage. Clearly, the app serves the purpose of preservation of all these vintage fonts more than mere appreciation. As Ceicko told Fastcompany:
“The larger goal of this project is about highlighting and preserving these instances of typography. Found-lettering and signage of historic or visual significance should be protected. I’d even argue that some of these signs are landmarks! It’s a part of our heritage, it gives us a sense of place, and it’s inspirational on many levels.”
Fontly will soon be available on Android as well.
Feature Image: http://bit.ly/QvulCE
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