Invitation: Collective type development!

Aron Kullander's picture


My name is Aron Kullander-Östling, and I'm a swedish graphic design student. I study at Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm and I'm currently working on my thesis project that evolves around Open Source philosophy. How we could take it out of the software context and use it within different design processes.

I am making a series of "experiments" – projects that each deals with different aspects of the philosophy. One of the projects is about collective development within type design. I have recently been looking into a homepage called FontStruct ( FontStruct is a free online flash program where you can design fonts and download them as true type files. The homepage has the feature of sharing your fonts and even clone other "fontstructions" that is published on the site.

FontStruct is constructed by a grid, where you use pixels or "bricks" with different patterns to build your fonts. This makes the program very limited, but with limitations comes creativity, right? One thing that the fonts created with FontStruct has in common is that they are very complex and decorative. It's almost 100% Headline fonts.

What I am interested in is to try to push Fontstruct's limitations and try to make the "best" font possible due to readability. I am producing a catalogue about Open Source thinking whitin design. I want this catalogue to use this typeface for all the text. Since Fontstruct has the possibility to "Clone" typefaces it would be a good place to collectively try to develope a typeface. And since Fontstruct has an Open Source approach it would be a good platform to try out an experiment like this!

So, now I am asking if anybody would be interested in participating in this project? I have started to make sketches of different possible letterforms that I have published on the fontstruct homepage ( Either you could continue to develope that as a starting point or create something from the start. It would be nice if we developed eachothers work and not just created something by ourselves...

The work you do doesn't have to be complete font sets. If you make some sketches, even if it's just a few letters, publish it on the site! It might give someone else an idea that can lead to further development, and in that way everyone doesn't have to work for weeks to get something done. The font including my sketches has the name "Open Text". Maybe we could all name our versions like that but add something to the end to keep track of the different versions.

I hope that someone will find this interesting and give it a try! My catalogue will be printed in about three weeks, so it's a quick project (that off course could live on and continue to develope as long as people want to work with it). Unfortunately I wont be able to send the catalogue to everyone that is participating, but I will make it available as a downloadable PDF.

Visit this link to clone the font and start working! (You will have to create an account on Fontstruct)


Looking forward to see some action!
If you have any questions, please contact me:

Best regards,
Aron Kullander-Östling,
Beckmans College of Design, Stockholm

.00's picture

Too long.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Yes, it's too long. (Sorry.) Also, most people here on Typophile know about FontStruct.

Fontstruct has the possibility to "Clone" typefaces (and I haven't really seen anyone using this feature)

Actually, there are plenty of examples of cloned FontStructions. And as far as collective or group efforts, check out Bubble Lab.

Aron Kullander's picture

Thanks for the answers.

When I wrote this text I had in mind to use it on different sites, and I can't really take for granted that people know about FontStruct.

You're right about the clone thing, sorry about that. It doesn't matter though, it's that the function exists that is good for this project. I've browsed through thousands of fonts on fontstruct and haven't really seen one that has the goal to be legible. Well, there is attempts but I think it could be developed a lot more. I find it interesting to use a program that is free for the public and very simple, and try to make the best out of the limitations due to functionality. Not only use it to make decorative fonts that works more like illustrative elements (Nothing wrong with that though...).

Aron Kullander's picture

So, for you who don't like to read long texts, here's a shorter version of the very long one at the top:

I'm making a project about open source-thinking within graphic design. As a part of that project I want to develope a legible text face using FontStruct ( and I want it to be developed collaboratively. To join the project, sign up at and clone this typeface to have something to start with:


Or just make something new from the start. The common goal is to make a typeface as legible as possible. Name you typeface "Open Text" and add your name or whatever after so we can keep track of the typefaces. We can clone and work with eachothers sketches to collaboratively develope the text face. I will use this typeface for a catalogue i'm producing and the participants will be mentioned and the different sketches will be displayed in the catalogue. I will put it up as a PDF for download when it's done.

Hope someone would be interested! I just finished my first font that I made out of the sketches in "Open Text". I will publish it this week, so it will be possible to clone it and try to make it better.

Hope to see you at FontStruct!

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