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Contribute To A Crowdsourced Digital Domain For Historical Typography

A new app lets font enthusiasts upload their favorite specimens to a digital database to preserve and share.

Karen Summerson
Karen Summerson on September 18, 2012. @KJSummerson

A love of typography and passion for preservation has combined to create a new Apple app called Fontly. The app allows its users to photograph interesting typography that’s posted in their surroundings and store the pictures in an online database. Posts represent various media, from marquees to painted advertisements on buildings. Through this database, users can browse new or popular postings and even explore posts that have been made in their immediate area.

Brendan Ciecko, who created the app, cites his love of typography. The fonts, he argues, not only serve aesthetic purposes, but also serve as cultural footprints within a community. His main goal is public attention and preservation. In an interview with Co-DESIGN contributor, Kyle VanHemert, Ciecko stresses,

Found-lettering and signage of historic or visual significance should be protected. I’d even argue that some of these signs are landmarks! It’s a part of our heritage, it gives us a sense of place, and it’s inspirational on many levels.

As the database grows and gains entries, its capabilities surpass those of a digital application– it becomes a tool with which to collect and store public history that might not have been recorded otherwise.

The app will soon become available to Android users and can be downloaded for free from Apple.

Fontly

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