Our Font Catalogue | The League of Moveable Type
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Micah Rich

Designer, Developer, Founder of The League

Our Font Catalogue

5 min read

We started with a single font on our homepage, and a manifesto describing our humble intentions — to be the first open-source foundry, to provide fonts that anyone can use & learn from, free to use however you need.

And while our curated strategy, picking the fonts we the founders as professionals and type lovers think need to exist, we know the catalogue is in need of some updates.

Updating Existing Fonts

We’re super proud of the collection we have. Our contributors have open-sourced fonts we all use regularly, even years after first publishing, and we know they’re still great.

But it’s been difficult to keep up with the contributions & updates from both our original contributors and totally new, exciting designers. There have been a bunch of awesome developments we need to pull back in.

  1. Raleway by Matt McInerney is one of our absolute favorites, and judging by how often we see it used out in the real world, it’s one of everyone else’s too. We started with a limited character set, and a single thin weight. But amazing type designers Pablo Impallari & Rodrigo Fuenzalida have expanded it into a huge family, with 9 weights, expanded character sets, and true italics for every weight.

  2. Ostrich Sans, of course, is another big favorite. A while ago we were commissioned by NBCUniversal to expand & update this beautiful set for the official E! Network branding. Part of the contract was that any of the work we did would be open-sourced, and type genius Tyler Finck has been pushing for us to update for a long time. That’ll be next on the open-source agenda.

  3. Sniglet is near & dear to my own heart, because it was one of our first contributions, and just so damn lovable. While Haley Fiege is on to other, awesome things, Pablo Impallari came through again with Brenda Gallo, and built an awesome and beautiful regular weight that we intend to pull back in, so everyone can fall in love with Sniglet all over again.

  4. Lastly, League Spartan has a few open pull requests, from both Tyler Finck & the very excellent Tasos Dervenagas, with subtle updates and multiple masters added. We’ve been stalled on merging them, but it’ll be our next priority.

This is hopefully just the beginning. I can’t tell you how amazing it is that all these contributions exist, and how much I want to keep working on all our open-source fonts.

Which leads me to our next section — ongoing maintenance.

Maintaining Our Open-source Catalogue

The hard truth is that I haven’t been able to keep up with everything on my own — while the contributions, thankfully, are from people far more talented than I, keeping open-source projects up-to-date while maintaining quality & running the other parts of The League has been daunting, and will only get more so.

My dream is that we start making enough revenue from our other endeavors —products, books, and courses — to be able hire an amazing type designer to help us stay on top of our open-source catalogue, at least part-time.

Someone excited about typography, has an eye for good fonts, and is as passionate about our mission as we are. Someone who loves tinkering, updating, playing, learning & expanding, and collaborating with great type designers who have questions and want to contribute.

If that sounds like you, you gosh-darn-better shoot us an email. We need the help, and we want to provide opportunities to the right designers.

New Open-source Fonts

Now, the fun part — new fonts.

We’re never going to try to be a giant catalogue of fonts. Our vision has always been to have a curated collection of the best open-source fonts, ones professionals want to use in their own work, and can.

But I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a bajillion ideas of new fonts to make.

Our main plan going forward, then, is to both contribute to the community with new fonts, and support type designers making a living at the same time.

We’re going to start with trying to crowdfund our next big type project.

We haven’t nailed down any specific details yet — we want to start by talking to type designers we know & love, and figure out what they’d be most excited about working on. Maybe it’s expanding League Spartan into a family, maybe it’s a font revival from a long-forgotten beauty, or maybe it’s something totally new.

But we’re in this together with you, and we’re hoping we can support those designers working on it with your help. Hearing what you want to exist, hearing what designers want to make, and building something that’s great for all of us, and the history of the web, too.

Now, we’ve certainly got a lot of work to do. And it won’t happen overnight, but I’m determined to continue our momentum and keep launching new things over the next few months.

If you want to read the next section of our State of The League series, read Building Real Community.