My love-story with fonts began in 2011 during a road trip with a my friend Rick. He ran a letterpress shop in Denver (MATTER) and only respected you if you owned the license to your font(s). At the time, I had a sweet-ass collection of every font under the sun — all stolen, of course. My photoshop was also obtained… well, we all started somewhere.
Spend 18 hours with Rick though, and you’ll find yourself doing some strange things. I deleted my stolen font library and developed an expensive taste for the finer types. October 29th, 2011 I bought my first typeface (license): Mister Giacco. It was weirdly unique and somehow serious at the same time. I used it for a sex app (spreadsheets), that was both weird and serious.
Coworkers would ask if I had “big weekend plans” — to which my response was usually: “yeah I’m tryin’ to wrap up this font.” At a holiday party, after the drinks were plenty, a coworker asked me “so, like what’s the deal with this font?” And I understood he really meant: “do you seriously enjoy the tedium of making letter shapes in your free time?”
Translation: “are you like, that boring?”
Yes. Definitely, yes. Ultimately, I wanted to make something for other designers. I wanted to create something useful that didn’t rely on a developer; something I could launch on my own timeline. This was roughly how I explained it to him:
“You know, like open-source is to developers… free fonts are to designers. I’m trying to make the best open-source library I can!”