Not only for fans
  This headline is set in Balto by Type Supply. Get it on Fontstand for only €4.50/month.

Fontstand’s new foundry subscriptions may be more interesting than you think
This headline is set in Balto by Type Supply. Get it on Fontstand for only €4.50/month.

I thought I didn’t like subscriptions. I do subscribe to postage stamps but not to any of the creative, the music or the movie plans. But: I think you should consider subscribing to a type foundry.

As you know, Fontstand offers you the ability to rent fonts – or rather lease them because you can keep them for good after 12 months. They do not offer a general library subscription like the big font discounters. At one of the past foundry-partner meetings, however, a new idea was born: to make it possible to subscribe to all fonts of one particular foundry. The discussion circled a bit around “like Patreon for fonts”. I knew this was coming and that it was recently announced, but I only now got to try it out myself. And I am surprised how good a deal it is!

The pop-up dialog in the Fontstand app where you can choose between renting and subscribing. 

Foundries set the monthly price themselves. Currently, most range between 10 and 12 Euros. The ones with lots of fonts obviously cost more, but even the smaller foundries offer you 6–30 typefaces for that. (Yes, the app interface says fonts currently while in reality they mean whole type families but let’s not get into the semantics of “font vs. typeface” here.) And, thanks to global market dynamics and business strategies of late where everyone feels pressured to have a certain set of classic “sellers” in their catalog, a lot of foundries offer you a varied Vignelli-bouquet of designs: a nice readable serif, a chic and flashy serif, a geometric sans, a “neutral” sans, a crazy headline font, a monospace … Okay, maybe not Letterror, or Type Supply but there you get seven amazing sans-serifs!

Screenshot of the foundry overview of Type Supply on Fontstand

Currently, Type Supply foundry offers eight different type families via our service.

What I am trying to say: a lot of the Fontstand foundry subscriptions are the same price as renting just 2–3 styles of a typeface. To keep with the Type Supply examples, renting two styles of the most excellent Balto costs 2 × €5.50 = €11 per month. Subscribing to all of Tal’s fonts for just €10.75/month gives you access to all 16 styles of Balto, 10 styles of Marigny, 12 of Queue, 16 of Iota, 20 of Smoosh which you may not use every month but you get the idea, eight full families in total. That was not clear to me when I saw the launch.

If you are a designer with a tighter budget, check out the participating foundries with a ~€12 subscription. Like Process Type, Typejockeys, DJR, Ludwig Type, OHnoSignal Foundry, Nouvelle Noire … You will get a catalog full of versatile and fun quality typefaces at your disposal that, I’m sure, will spark new design ideas and expose you to fonts you may not have considered otherwise. It makes for a nice design challenge!

The fonts mentioned in this article are available to rent by the month for a fraction of their retail price on Fontstand.