Monotype acquires Fontsmith just six months after it was bought for $825m
Fontsmith's typefaces will become part of Monotype's huge library, and its designers will fall under the company's creative umbrella.
- Jenny Brewer
- 28 January 2020
Fontsmith founder Jason Smith began his typographic career, aged 18, as an intern at Monotype. Now, his career has come full circle as the font behemoth acquires his foundry for an undisclosed sum. The news comes just six months after Monotype itself was acquired by a Palo Alto private equity firm for a whopping $825 million.
Fontsmith’s 70 font families will become part of Monotype’s library, including FS Albert, FS Brabo, FS Koopman, FS Meridian, FS Millbank and FS Untitled. Additionally, its designers will fall under one unified creative team for Monotype Studio. Monotype has a library of over 10,000 fonts including some of the most ubiquitous such as Helvetica and Univers, and, it originally commissioned Times New Roman, Arial and Gill Sans.
Monotype was founded in 1887, and rather neatly, Fontsmith was founded in 1997. Smith said of the news: “This is a full circle story. My earliest type design experience at Monotype inspired me to follow my passion and drove me to blaze my own trail in design. To come back to where it all started is both nostalgic and exhilarating. Our combined expertise will help us better serve the creative industry in ways that we’ve never done before.” Monotype’s CEO Scott Landers called Fontsmith “a trendsetter in the type community.”
Fontsmith has previously designed bespoke or modified typefaces for brands such as the BBC, British Gas, Colgate, ING and Lloyd Bank, and has been seen at the forefront of variable font design, having created one of the first variable font logos for WPP’s new Amsterdam campus (designed with Dutch agency VBAT). In 2019 it also launched a collection of nine variable fonts.
In 2016, Monotype launched one of the industry’s most ambitious projects to date, a five-year collaboration with Google that resulted in Noto – an open-source typeface family that encompasses every written language in the world, living and dead.
The Fontsmith designs will be available to buy directly through Monotype and its Mosaic platform, as well as MyFonts.com and still through Fontsmith.com.
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Jenny oversees our editorial output across work, news and features. She was previously It’s Nice That's news editor. Get in touch with any big creative stories, tips, pitches, news and opinions, or questions about all things editorial.