Monotype Imaging acquires Design by Front

Hannah Jordan
Friday, November 9, 2012

US font and typographic specialist Monotype Imaging Holdings has bought Northern Ireland-based web design company Design By Front.

The 14-employee firm will continue to operate from its main Belfast location focussing on the development Typecast, a browser-based application currently in beta testing that the company claims improves web designers experience when creating web pages with specialised web fonts.

Monotype acquired all shares in the company for a sum of up to $5.1m, with $2.6m paid in cash on closing the agreement. The remainder will be payable dependent "on the attainment of certain performance criteria through 2014".  

Design By Front managing director Paul McKeever said: "Good typography is essential for web design.

"We created Typecast simply to make it easier to work with web fonts, and to give web designers precise typographic control to make the web a more beautiful, readable place.

"We look forward to bringing to the web design community a powerful application that’s actually easy and fun to use."

Monotype said that the acquisition would enhance its product offering, add to its existing skill base and bolster the company’s growth areas, in particular its web font services.

President and chief executive Doug Shaw said that Typecast fitted into company’s strategy of adding Internet Protocol (IP) to complement its solutions and provide meaningful value to customers.

"The web has become a critical publishing platform, where brands need to represent themselves with clarity and consistency across connected devices," he added.

"As a typographic design tool, we believe Typecast has the potential to take web fonts to a whole new level of productivity and creative expression."

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