At the end of 2019 I launched a web platform called Public Type Works. The goal was simple: get more open source fonts in the world, and pay type designers to do it. I kept it pretty simple, crowdfunding for what would be free fonts. Version 1 wasn’t successful for a few reasons, which is why I’m relaunching it now. I think it is better than ever. I’m excited to share the changes below. These updates are based on feedback from type designers and supporters. Here is what you need to know about version 2 ✌️
You give and you get!
In order for a typeface to be listed now, it has to have some font files ready to go, even if they’re not perfect or finished. This means that supporters immediately get a download after contributing anything above the minimum amount. We’re calling the works in progress “beta fonts”, but they’re stable enough to use in production. They aren’t open source at this point, but our license that ships with them is pretty sweet. For example, my project Rewrite already comes with 8 weights, ExtraLight through Black. You get those instantly after payment (and your name gets listed as a supporter, just like last time). You can use them for anything, web and print, but you can’t share the files. Simple.
The goal 💸
instead of trying to get a minimum number of supporters for a project, a dollar goal will be set for each typeface. That amount might be different for each project. In version 1—where we wanted 300 or 1000 supporters per project—people often pledged a lot more money than the minimum, but that still only registered as 1 person towards the total person goal. Now, if someone is feeling generous and throws $100 at a typeface, it makes a huge dent.
There is only a small selection of typefaces. I want a hundred typefaces on here from a hundred different designers. But I didn’t want to get anyone else’s hopes up, or make them put in unnecessary work only to have the platform flop…again. So yes, the type offerings are thin, but hopefully that will change. Are you a type designer interested in participating? Great, please fill out this form. The only thing missing from this site right now is a diverse group of people and fonts.
I switched from Stripe to PayPal after overwhelming feedback that PayPal is better for the international community. The rates are the same, so it makes little difference to me. I hope this is an improvement for lots of people. And if you’re like me, you might have a little money just sitting in your PayPal to spend on something random, like a font.
That’s it. Here are some slides from the Behance project that show some of the highlights from the website.