With the advent of a new service, fonts may be as easy to preview and as cheap to purchase as the newest episode of your favorite TV show. Fonts are generally expensive and difficult to license. Though tools like Adobe Typekit provide access to subscription fonts, they can only be used in Adobe programs. Fontstand, a newly launched OSX app, is pioneering a new model of type licensing that is cheaper and more convenient than traditional licensing, allowing users to rent fonts by the month.
Most compellingly, the app lets users test drive thousands of fonts in any program for an hour. This is clearly a huge improvement over using online samples as your sole assessment of a font before purchasing, especially when it includes fonts from foundries like Typofonderie, Type Supply and Process. After sampling, you can pay to rent a font for a month–a perfect solution for designers who may only need to use a font for one project. It’s even possible to rent only one particular style from a font family at a lower price. The fonts are licensed for desktop publishing and printing, personally and professionally. And if you rent a font for 12 months, you will own it forever. Best of all, rented fonts can be shared among a team for a discounted price, making the economics of Fontstand even more sensible.
Fontstand’s fonts are not licensed for use in broadcasting or on the web–for those rights you’ll have to contact the foundry. But with Netflix-like prices, mostly under $10 a month for a style, Fontstand is worth the money. The app is starting strong, with over 1,000 fonts to choose from. We’ll be watching closely to see if other foundries join the app. If so, the service could be the beginning of a new era in which fonts are more accessible at prices that more people can afford.
[via The Next Web]