FontShop Joins Monotype

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News | Ivo Gabrowitsch | July 15, 2014

Today is a groundbreaking day in FontShop’s 25 year history, the most important one since our formation. The US typeface company Monotype just announced that they have acquired FontShop and the FontFont library. The acquisition package includes the head office in Berlin as well as the FontFont typeface library, the US subsidiary in San Francisco (fontshop.com), and the German distributor, FontShop AG. Monotype acquires the FontFonts of founder Erik Spiekermann directly from him, including all usage and publication rights. All of his bestsellers (FF MetaFF InfoFF UnitFF Govan) will remain part of the FontFont library. Spiekermann will assist Monotype as typographical consultant in the future. Further information on the transaction is provided in a detailed press release from Monotype.

With the acquisition, in addition to a contemporary typeface library, Monotype gains new customer groups, popular marketing tools and channels as well as a second foothold in the German market, which the group assesses as one of the most vital font markets. “Monotype’s global reach, financial strength and passion for type, combined with FontShop’s complementary typeface expertise, industry relationships and premier typeface collection, is expected to strengthen Monotype’s ability to serve global markets and deliver high-quality, branded experiences across every screen, platform or media property” says the press release published today.

The president and CEO of Monotype, Doug Shaw, summarizes the synergies as follows: “As a company dedicated to type, we’re excited about the addition of FontShop, another company with design and type in their DNA. FontShop’s strong relationships with typeface designers, acute knowledge of the creative professional community, high-quality IP, strong e-commerce business and highly regarded TYPO events, will add immediate value to our business and help us continue on our mission of being the first place to turn for typefaces, technology and expertise.”

The positive momentum for the joint business also arose from the FontShop side. Petra Weitz, FontShop’s international managing director not only emphasizes new, international marketing channels for the FontFont library, but also exciting special markets for these fonts, for example in devices (OEM licenses) or operating systems. FontShop founder Erik Spiekermann, who noted the newest acquisition of Monotype with interest, believes his own FontFonts and those of his colleagues are in good hands: “As a typeface designer who cares deeply about the industry in which I work, I have watched Monotype not merely survive, but grow and prosper. They have become respected experts in the business and the technology of type. Having my typefaces become part of the Monotype foundry will make sure that they, as well as the other FontFonts, will benefit from Monotype’s strengths. The industry-at-large will be stronger once FontShop adds its creative prowess to Monotype’s business.”

For marketing director Ivo Gabrowitsch, who is just getting next.fontshop.com on its feet with around 15 developers and designers – a font store with never-before-seen test functions – the partnership with Monotype arrives just at the right time. “The limited FontShop budget presents a great challenge for our project and its many planned innovations. With Monotype backing us, ongoing development is strengthened significantly. Our customers will profit from this already in the medium-term.” Jürgen Siebert, program director of the TYPO conferences takes a similar tone. “We have tried to internationalize TYPO Berlin for three years, but we never got farther than San Francisco and London. Together with Monotype, TYPO growth gets a second wind.”

The same goes for the outlooks and future projects. What remains? Pretty much everything that is important to us and our friends. Although the corporate brand will be retired, the FontShop e-commerce brand stays FontShop, FontFont stays FontFont, and FontBook App stays FontBook App. The FontFeed will also continue to blast its reports and opinions. We are quite certain that this is also in the interest of all readers – despite the change of ownership.

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