Robin Good: "Would you like to join a select group of designers from around the world to curate what you would consider fonts from our Monotype collection for use in editorial publishing?"
This is what James Fooks-Bale, from Monotype (the largest type foundry out there) initially wrote to Mario Garcia. The email went out also to several other designers around the world, who were all invited to participate in curating a set of type collections to inspire and help designers re-discover what fonts and typefaces to use for their next project.
"The unique challenge of this project was developing type palettes.
Each set of type families had to make sense for the hypothetical publications we proposed.
But the families in each palette also had to complement each other: in finish, attitude, or historical reference.
It was not about selecting interesting typefaces, but choosing those that could work as part of a system..."
Monotype calls these curated sets of typographic faces "collections" and it describes their function and meaning as: "The Monotype Collections are a series of personal font selections curated from the Monotype library by leading figures in the print and digital design worlds.
Each one takes a theme that corresponds to real-life briefs or trends, such as Heritage, Publishing, Branding or Web Fonts, and all fonts selected by our curators are available to license from Monotype.
The sheer volume of font options now available to designers and creative directors can be daunting and time-consuming to explore, leading designers to settle for tried-and-trusted go-to fonts.
The purpose of the collections is to widen their palette, and offer a range of entry points to the Monotype library, which contains thousands of fonts covering every application, and has its origins in the late 19th century.
The Collections contrast contemporary alternatives and reveal hidden gems from the archives, and invite designers to delve deeper."
This is a great example of how curation can be used to market, inspire and help great artists discover and re-discover tools they may have not been using for a while.
Fascinating. Innovative. Inspiring. 9/10
Agree with Robin 100%. Type is such a BEAR and so easy to do WRONG. The more perspective we gain from peers the easier it is to solve difficult problems like how to use type. The real innovation here is forming up a tribe of highly influential advocates to share their favorite groups of typefaces. By forming something similar to what my team and I called our "buzz team" in my last job Monotype creates dual benefit.
Monotype's "buzz team" helps them hear direct feedback from a group of highly influential designers AND those designers go out into the world and advocate for Monotype (the more valuable of the two interactions if you ask me but hard to get the one without the other).
Robin's note is insightful too. Monotype isn't asking their designers to CREATE new type faces only to share their favorite groups of existing type. They are asking for Curation As A Product. We've been so stuck in the idea of product as things, as physical objects, we may be missing a dramatic and important market change - process as product.
Product as process, product as curaton, product as something much more ethereal, magical, gentle and kind feels like where we are thanks in no small measure to curation of the growing infinity of UGC (User Generated Content). This idea of "product" as bigger than past definitions, something Robin just helped me see with this Scoop, fits with Social Media's Magic Feedback Loops (http://www.atlanticbt.com/blog/social-medias-magic-loops/ ), a post I just wrote for Atlantic BT's blog.
The idea of THEM and US is what is fading fast. Monotype's intelligent use of that information is inspiratoinal and Robin's take is as accurate and helpful as always :). M
Full story + samples from all curated sets: http://www.garciamedia.com/blog/articles/the_page_is_the_stage_curating_a_monotype_type_collection
Via Robin Good, John van den Brink