Play with your type

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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.”