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Play with your type

Photos from dezeen.com

There are certain things that even those most averse to online shopping will concede to buying online, mainly because they have no other choice. E-books, for example, aren’t sold in stores. Domain names, web hosting, mp3′s – all these must be purchased on the Internet for the obvious reason that they lack a physical space and can, therefor, not be stocked in a physical store. The same used to be true for fonts. A designer creates a font and you buy the rights, download the font and use it in your work. It only becomes physical when you hit print.

The creative minds behind e-Types have thought a lot about this concept and how it applies to their heretofore online-only type foundry Playtypes. Then they came up with the idea for “the world’s first brick and mortar type shop”: Playtype, type foundry and concept store. The shop, located in Copenhagen and open for one year (initially, anyway), provides a space where designers can shop for typefaces the same way we shop for shoes. Merchandise – cups, t-shirts, posters – bearing letters in various Playtype fonts are on display and available for purchase, meaning you can buy the digital font on a flash drive and take home a physical souvenir of your purchase.

As a font-addict, I get very excited when I see something plastered with letters, let alone a storefront covered in typefaces of different styles and sizes. The folks at e-Type agree. “We’ve always been type nerds. It’s what founded our company and what keeps the midnight oil burning at e‐Types, with people spending hours on the correct curvature of a C or the appropriate amount of space around an A.”