HyperText showcases 69 fonts launched in the first year of Future Fonts, an experimental platform for in-progress fonts

In the past year, Future Fonts has helped 40 independent foundries launch 69 fonts from 22 countries. In celebration of this milestone, HyperText captures a snapshot of these designs.

13 March 2020

Lizy Gershenzon and Travis Kochel met 14 years ago in Chicago. Both freelancers at the time, they shortly began working side-by-side in the Illinois city, and not long after, started dating. Fast forward a few years and the design duo started to look for a new adventure, which for them, meant moving to New Zealand and establishing a new studio, Scribble Tone. There, Travis started working with type – an interest sparked by the Wellington-based type conference, Type Shed – and their typeface FF Chartwell was born, quickly becoming popular for its experimental use of OpenType, specifically handy for making charts.

Through FF Chartwell, Lizy and Travis were introduced to the ins and outs of the type industry and the community of designers working within it. Eventually, the typeface was acquired by Monotype which “gave us a first hand perspective on the legal and ethical topics of creative ownership,” Lizy tells It’s Nice That. It was an ordeal that went onto inspire Lizy and Travis’ next venture, Future Fonts, an experimental platform for in-progress fonts. It conveniently connects the designers looking to buy fonts with others who are directly making them.

A unique platform for foundries anywhere in the world, Future Fonts is a place where feedback, discounts and free updates are all very much welcomed. It supports up and coming designers, builds a community with non-stop learning to boot, and in just over a year of after starting, Lizy and Travis’ platform has helped 40 independent foundries launch 69 fonts from 22 countries. In celebration of this milestone, the founding duo created HyperText which is, in short, a snapshot of Future Fonts’ releases in its first year.

Created in collaboration with the Portland-based Fisk, a studio which is no stranger to It’s Nice That, the creatives set out making something “part type specimen and part art piece.” Taking on the form of an interactive website as well as an oversized newsprint, HyperText “pushes the limits of absurdity” with its entertaining sensory overload and heightened playfulness. Jam packed in content and visual stimulation, the platform’s 69 fonts are peppered throughout the project, in turn, showcasing each font’s individual personality traits through the buzzing design.

“It’s an extremely ambitious and atypical challenge for us to showcase 69 fonts within a single project,” says Fisk’s founding designer, Bijan Berahimi. “To ground the project, we explored overlooked cultures with an abundance of type, and utilitarian forms of graphic design.” With three distinct visual vernaculars in the shape of: HyperFood, HyperAge and HyperWeb, the fonts were divided into one of these three categories and given a visual system to suit accordingly. While HyperFood exemplifies the type references found in consumer fast food culture, HyperAge gives light to the “new age-y, chakra and yoga worlds”, whereas HyperWeb alternatively, “is an environment inspired by early chaotic internet websites,” think Geocites and over the top Myspace layouts for example.

With a bundle of bespoke personalisations to highlight the uniqueness of the project, HyperText is an Easter egg hunt of typographic delights. On the website for instance, there is a font inspector activated by a small ‘i’ in the upper right hand corner of the website. It allows people to identify each font amongst amongst the visual chaos, allowing for efficient user convenience. Elsewhere, under the HyperAge theme, the group of collaborating designers played on the theme of breathing exercises and movement; a perfect metaphor to showcase the range of Future Fonts’ variable fonts. It emphasises how variable fonts can be personalised, particularly useful for the creation of logotypes, the pairing of illustration and, of course, an array of headline options.

All in all, hopefully this gives you readers a glimpse into the the extensiveness of this projects which is not only an informative mind field of type galore, but also, a whole lot of fun.

GalleryFuture Fonts and Fisk: HyperText

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Future Fonts and Fisk: HyperText

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About the Author

Jyni Ong

Jyni joined It’s Nice That as an editorial assistant in August 2018 after graduating from The Glasgow School of Art’s Communication Design degree. In March 2019 she became a staff writer and in June 2021, she was made associate editor.

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