Monotype acquires Fontsmith


Monotype has acquired London-based boutique type foundry Fontsmith to boost its expertise and bolster its already extensive typeface library.

Monotype's library of type IP will now include FS Brabo
Monotype's library of type IP will now include FS Brabo

The deal, which completed on Monday (27 January), will see typeface giant Monotype immediately expand its library of type IP to include “70 new edgy, colourful and workhorse brand font families”, including FS Albert, FS Brabo, FS Koopman, FS Meridian, FS Millbank and FS Untitled.

The Fontsmith designs will be included as part of Monotype’s Mosaic platform and available for purchase on MyFonts.com.

“Fontsmith has been a trendsetter in the type community and with this acquisition we’re thrilled to add a well-respected library of fonts and an innovative group of type designers to the Monotype family,” said Monotype chief executive Scott Landers.

“Their collective experience, expertise and body of work will add immediate value to our customers through the Monotype Library, Monotype Studio and Monotype’s Mosaic solution.”

Fontsmith has created custom or modified typefaces for brands including BBC, British Gas, Colgate, ING and Lloyds Bank. It won European Design Awards in 2018 and 2019 for FS Irwin and FS Neruda, respectively, and the Print and Typography and Lettering Award for FS Siena in 2017.

The company also specialises in variable font design and last year it worked with Dutch branding agency VBAT to introduce one of the world’s first variable font logos, for WPP’s new campus in Amsterdam.

Jason Smith, who founded Fontsmith in 1997, said: “After 23 years of building Fontsmith into one of the premiere boutique type foundries in Europe, we’re excited to join creative forces with Monotype to create an even more powerful, forward-thinking Monotype Studio.

“Our combined expertise will help us better serve the creative industry in ways that we’ve never done before.”

Smith started his design career at 18 as an intern at Monotype, studying under type designers Robin Nicholas and Pat Saunders.

“This is a full circle story. My earliest type design experience at Monotype inspired me to follow my passion and drove me to blaze my own trail in design. To come back to where it all started is both nostalgic and exhilarating.”

Woburn, Massachusetts-headquartered Monotype, which was founded in 1887, was itself acquired last year by private equity firm HGGC. Employing more than 700 staff, Monotype's revenue for 2018 was $246.7m (£190.3m).

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