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Typeface Foundries and Designers

With so many typefaces, how can you find the ones you want? Here you'll find a list of the major font designers and how to contact them, but the easiest way is to first contact one of the following four major font retailers. Together, these three represent almost all the type sources you'll need. The exception are a few type designers who sell their type only through their web sites (and I've provided links to them here). See another list of type links.

Linotype FontExplorer

This remarkable applet helps you choose type based on a number of different settings, including classification, time in history, usage, name, style, weight/width/x-height,and serif type. It's useful, it's fun, and it's very clever. Make sure to note the little VCR-like buttons near the bottom of the right window--these show you more fonts based on your selections. Don't miss this!

Precision Type

47 Mall Dr., Commack, NY 11725; 800/248-3668, 516/864-0167
Precision Type has, not only one of the most definitive type catalogs in print, they also have perhaps the single most definitive collection of typographic samples on the web. They carry more typefaces from more foundries than anyone else, and their simplet yet brilliant site lets you see any font they carry in the words of your choice--there's no better way to see if a face is going to work for you. Their comprehensive printed catalog costs $39 and is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to know which typeface is which. If you know the name of a typeface, chances are Precision Type can sell it to you. If you don't know the name but can fax them a sample, they can find it and get it for you. They handle both the large foundries and many individual designers.


MyFonts offers fonts from many foundries and small designers. It also has some useful type-finding feature. The most unique is the "What The Font" system. Upload a GIF or JPG showing a font sample (the bigger, the better) and the system does it's best to tell you want font it is. I've tried it and it actually works if you have a clean sample. It's an all around interesting and useful site.


415-398-7677, 888-333-6687 (or FF-FONTS)
FontShop one of the world's largest type vendors with offices around the world. Their web site is a treasure trove of information. Make sure to try the links to the
German FontShop site where you can view and print samples from every FontFont, in the words of your choice!

FontShop's impressively huge and complete type catalog is a terrific resource for typophiles, including FontShop's own cutting edge line called “FontFont.” The 650-page, 2-volume set features 10,000 fonts from 40 librairies. No self-respecting typehound will want to be without FontShop's “FontBook.”

Phil's Fonts

14605 Sturtevant Road, Silver Spring, MD 20905, 800-424-2977. Phil's Fonts has been around for years. They were formerly one of the country's premier phototype houses, and then they moved into the world of digital font sales, starting trends like fonts on CD. Now they carry the newest faces from designers around the world, as well as the libraries of all the major foundries. They also have a great web site-check it out.


1375 Kings Highway East, Fairfield, CT 06430; 800-942-9110, 203/846-3087
While FontHaus doesn't represent lines as Precision or FontShop, it tends to focus on "designer" typefaces that are new and sold only through them. You'll find great new type by Mark VanBronkhorst, Rodrigo Xavier Cavasos's, and careful revivals by Jim Spiece, Jason Castle, and David Farey. Call and request a copy of their magazine x-height which combines interesting editorial with selections from their current catalog.


If you're looking for the latest faces from a wide range of talented independent designers, checkout The great thing about this service is that it lets small, creative designers easily sell their fonts on the web. They set their own prices and they take home most of the money, so you're really supporting the designers directly. Fonts are easy to find, well arranged by category or designer. Prices start at as little as $1.50.


47 W. Polk Street, #100-310, Chicago, IL 60605; 800-TYPE-USA, fax: 312-360-1997
A type reseller that handles many fonts from large and small foundries. Their web site is coming soon.


The following are foundries or individual type designers:

Adobe Systems

Adobe has one of the largest libraries of fonts available, and all can be viewed in the Type Browser section of their web site.

1585 Charleston Rd., Box 7900, Mountain View, CA 94039; 800/83-fonts, 415/961-4400.

ArtParts: Joe & Ron, Box 2926, Orange, CA 92669-0926; 714-771-6754.

ArtParts product some of the most whimsical (and useful) clipart you could ever wish for, along with "Regular Joe" an increasingly popular hand-written font. Write for their hilarious catalog, then buy all of this you can afford. You can see and buy their collection on the FontHaus web site.


Bitstream was the first all-digital type foundry, and with people like Matthew Carter building their library, still has some of the best, most authentic digitizations you can find. They also have amazing prices on their top-quality font-CDs. Their 500-font CD sells for only $49.95. Their TypeShop CD contains their entire library, including all ITC and licensed fonts in their collection. Both these CDs are a great way to build a type library with all the classic faces, modern classics, and many originals. You can now purchase fonts directly from this site.

800-522-FONT. 215 First St., Cambridge, MA 02142; 800/522-FONT, 617/497-6222.

Carter and Cone Type, Inc. Matthew Carter is, of course, one of the pre-eminent type designers of our time. He designed ITC Galliard, Bell Centennial (what you read in phone books), Snell Roundhand, as well as building type libraries for Linotype and being one of the founders of Bitstream. With Cherie Cone, his partner, Carter & Cone, has released some wonderful original faces, including Mantinia and Sophia. He also created the definitive expert-set of Galliard. His latest work has been typefaces for the screen, which can be downloaded for free at the Microsoft TrueType site

2155 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02140; 800/952-2129, 617/576-0398. E-mail

Castle Systems

Jason Castle has a fine hand at revivals, and originals. He did a superb and sensitive job on Jensen Arabique (one of my favorites. 1306 Lincoln Ave., San Rafael, CA 94901-2105; 415-459-6495 E-mail


Known for their cutting-edge designs, Emigre fonts are only available from Emigre. You can purchase fonts directly from this site.

Emigre: 4475 "D" St., Sacramento, CA 95819; 800-944-9021; 916-451-4344; fax 916-451-4351; AOL: Emigre

DigitEyes Mutlimedia

Very interesting designs that tend towards grunge, but intelligently.

P.O. Box 48611 Bentall Center, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V7X 1A3; e-mail:


FontBureau is the source many magazines go to when they want custom typefaces. But they also have a large, sophisticated library of their own designs you can buy "off the rack."

175 Newbury St., Boston, MA 02116; 617-423-8770, e-mail.


Interesting, unconventional typefaces of all shapes and sizes.

Ethan Dunham 2731 Blairstone Rd. #184, Tallahassee, FL 32301-5913;, (904)877-8442

Font Forest

(previously known as Epiphany Design Studio), If you want beautiful architectural typefaces, this is the place to look. The designs go from Glasgow to Scribble, and they're all charming and useful. You can now order these fonts on-line from our StoreRoom. To do so, click here.

Galapagos Design

The Galapagos Design group consists of both type designers, and some of the world's foremost type technologists that work for large foundries and companies wanting custom type work. As well as a selection of original typefaces (including Maiandra, a soft, friendly, elegant face that's one of my favorites), Galapagos offers custom type design, on-site consulting and font format conversion services. They offer a free download of "Web-o-Mints," an attractive ornament typeface for PC and Mac.

  • Visit i-us - Want to talk about type? This is the place to do it. I host the type-related forums, and there are also forums about web design, print design, and specific software applications. This is also where I write a column about design and publishing, called the Will-Harris Wire.

  • Handcraftedfonts

    by Jonathan Macagba has some wonderful original designs, from Poster Solid and Inline (the main typeface on this site), to his fun 'FrankenFont' where you can pose little people depending on the letters you choose. His faces are all stylish and unique. Box 14013, Philadelphia, PA 19123; 215-634-0634

    Image Club Graphics

    Image Club has one of the most interesting and useful mail order catalogs for type and graphics products. Their web site is educational as well. They release new typefaces and clip art collections on a monthly basis.

    800-661-9410; 403-262-8008; fax: 4032617013; CompuServe: 72560,2323; America Online: imageclub,

    ITC (International Typeface Corporation)

    ITC is the IBM of ABC's. Many of the most popular typefaces in use come from ITC, a company started to help type designers license designs to major manufacturers. ITC releases many new fonts on a quarterly basis. Their new site provides a service that lets you see your words in their typefaces, and this is handy, indeed.

    212 949-8072; fax: 212 949-8485. 228 East 45th Street, NYC 10017

    Judith Sutcliff, The Electric Typographer, 50 First Ave. Audubon, IA 50025-0224, Phone/Fax 712-563-3799

    Judith's typefaces are wonderful unique pieces that lend an elegant, handmade look to a page. From leaves to Leonardo Da Vinci, from Greene and Greene to Old Style Chewed (by ants), from Hibiscus to Kiilani, her fonts, picture fonts and petroglyphs are always exceptionally warm and expressive. Judith's fonts are available for sale on this site.


    Long known for their wonderful "press-on" type, Letraset has a major library of great display and script faces-along with some beautiful, subtle body text faces. ITC has taken over Letraset's line, but you can still view their site and download their "free font of the month."

    Letraset, 40 Eisenhower Dr., Paramus NJ 07653; 800-343-TYPE.


    Garrett Boge's faces always have personality and charm that makes them the life of the page. His new Legacy of Letters collection uses classic, sometimes ancient type as a starting point for new digital fonts. 6606 Soundview Dr., Gig Harbor, WA 98355; 206-851-5158.


    Microsoft released a number of TrueType faces for Windows 3.1 and sold more of them than any fonts in history. But those font packages are now history, and Microsoft is concentrating on fonts designed for the screen. Their site offers many fonts for free download, and Matthew Carter's specially comissioned "Georgia" is arguably the easiest-to-read serif face ever designed for the screen. His really remarkable "Verdana," the on-screen sans serif face, is also clear and easy-to-read, and both are well worth the download.

    Microsoft, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052; 800/426-9400.


    Monotype is one of the original type foudries and the foundry that created some of the most popular and beautiful typefaces of our time. Times New Roman was their design in the 20's and it's popular and practical. Gill Sans is also a Monotype design, a modern classic sans serif. Monotype also re-sells fonts from the Adobe library at a discount, so as strange as it may seem, you may get a better deal on Adobe font from Monotype than Adobe. You can now purchase fonts on-line from this site.

    685 Busse Road, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-2400 USA, 800/MONOTYPE, 847-718-0400, fax 847-718-0500

    Silver Graphics, Box 485, 307 W. Morgan Ave., Pennington Gap, VA 24277; 800-888-1550, 703-546-3800


    P22 is a foundry known for their museum-quality revival faces (often developed in conjunction with museum exhibitions). They feature a wide variety of historical styles and are always very well done.

    U-Design Foundry

    Bill's faces take the past and put it on you page. His dingbats, Decobat and his wonderful "Fistory" (the pointing finger on my site is from Bill's Fistory) are fun and stylish. His typefaces have a period feel that's authentic and attractive.

    270 Farmington Ave., Hartford, CT 06105; 800/945-3468, fax: 203-278-3003

    Type Links

    Copyright 2000 Daniel Will-Harris,