TypeType font design studio has presented a new service in the font market—Affordable Font. The TypeType team will share how this idea came about and the mission of bringing this new project to life.
To turn around branding stereotypes, we created a new service in the font market. A month for production, a fixed price of $1999, and a minimalist character composition, now the corporate font is affordable even for smaller companies with a limited budget.
Previously, such a product would seem prohibitively expensive and unattainable. But that didn’t mean that medium and small brands had no intention of standing out. The demand for such a product existed not only among large enterprises but for everyone.
Over a year in the making, we realized the demand for a service like this early on. When we launched, TypeType fonts were inexpensive, and the average bill clocked in around $15. As the years passed, however, we developed and made them more complex and attractive. We enriched the character compositions and the number of styles, and we developed the technical department. Now we have proprietary kerning, and we have even developed in-house hinting. That was reflected in the price of our fonts, which increased significantly. While we grew professionals, we lost the clientele that couldn’t afford to spend large budgets on purchasing licenses. Similar companies constantly contacted us, including those requesting a corporate font, but we did not have enough resources for such projects. We would refuse them, but we were always looking for an opportunity to return to this under-served market.
The Affordable Font service was preceded by another project with a similar concept. In 2021, we launched the first-ever budget fonts line, the TypeType Starter Kit, a series of designer fonts featuring the minimal set of font tools at the same quality level as the baseline fonts.
While the kit was a success, Affordable Font is the conceptual continuation of the TypeType Starter Kit. The fundamental difference is that in the designer font line, the client chooses from ready-made solutions; in the new service line, the client takes over the creative inspiration.
In the future, both projects will merge into the TypeType Design Collection, a set of affordable fonts with different stylistic concepts. That way, designers will be able to find a solution for any task in the form of a suitable font.
With the Affordable Font project, the character composition is limited, though the font has all the tools necessary and can get used for branding and packaging design, in advertisements, or for headlines in print. With the corporate font, however, a company can make a statement and stand out from its competitors. We do not have an image of an ideal project, but it could be a coffee shop or tattoo parlor, a local cosmetics or clothing brand—any company that wants a stylish personal font that’s within their budget.
Young brands are not the only audience for the new product. We received many requests from small and medium-sized agencies that wanted to expand the functionality of the services offered to their clients. Through this offering, an agency can deliver more value to their customers without resorting to hand-lettering or feeling limited by the budget. A functional font for an affordable price, distinguishing the project from peers in the market is a critical need that’s not getting addressed.
When we receive applications, we will choose projects with a creative concept, one whose idea and vision we can relate to but also requires typewritten fonts (as calligraphic or handwritten fonts demand significantly more time and resources).
One of the ways to reduce the price is for our studio to retain the commercial rights of use. The client receives an unlimited license, that is, almost unlimited possibilities for using the font family. However, we reserve the right to modify the font and release its commercial version a month after it gets transferred to the client. Those fonts then get combined with the Starter Kit in the TypeType Design Collection.
Of course, the client can buy commercial rights to use and remain the sole copyright holder—this is one of the additional options. Over the next six months, we will form a complete list of options with final costs. All conditions will be transparent, and the font can get assembled as a constructor kit, with the client knowing the final price in advance.
The character composition of the Affordable Font includes a basic set of alphabet letters, all numbers, service characters and basic punctuation, and a currency sign. There will be one face in the font, which the customer can choose. The font will have high-quality kerning and detailed elaboration of all characters. Proprietary hinting from TypeType or expansion of the character composition can also be ordered—these will be additional options.
There will be only one iteration—this way, we can reduce the time and labor on the type to just one month. The most important stage is the first meeting and discussion of the client’s ideas because, at that moment, we need to understand each other as much as possible. After that, we will gather for a team brainstorm and refine the concept into the final technical task, which will go into production after the client’s approval. There will be no edits in the course of work on the part of the customer.
Along with the budget typeface projects, our studio is also developing the direction of the Social Font project. It is a direct extension of the general concept and an integral part of the Affordable Fonts project.
From time to time, social and charitable projects that spend all their budgets on helping people, animals, or nature approach us. Such organizations cannot purchase a beautiful font but often want to make a statement while looking modern and stylish.
We previously provided these companies with a free license for our fonts. Projects included E-ducare, which helps children in Tanzania and Vietnam, or Nochlezhka, a charity in Russia dedicated to helping the homeless.
As part of the Social Font project, we can develop a font that directly reflects the ideas and mission of such organizations. Thanks to this, we can attract more public attention to such projects and contribute to their success.
Within the framework of the Social Font project, we invite charitable organizations, aid funds, non-profits, or educational institutions without government support to contact us. While we currently plan to take on about two such projects a year, there is only one limitation—the company must have been operational for at least a year, as the group must have a track record of success and helping their constituency.
To summarize, the Affordable Font project united several goals at once: from closing the sought-after niche of branded fonts for projects whose budgets are limited to the desire to contribute to the activities of social organizations.
We launched the Affordable Font initiative quite recently, but we sincerely believe that we will open new opportunities and implement several exciting and vital projects.
About us: TypeType is an independent type design studio based in St. Petersburg. During our eight years in the font market, we developed more than 60 fonts, including the bestsellers TT Norms® Pro and TT Commons Pro.