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This article was published on September 11, 2012


    Fontly: An app for discovering and sharing vintage typography

    Fontly: An app for discovering and sharing vintage typography
    Harrison Weber
    Story by

    Harrison Weber

    Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

    Photo sharing services have quickly gone from a much-needed and exciting utility to the bane of every blogger’s inbox (especially group photo sharing services). There are simply too many sub-par options out there, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few gems left.

    One of those gems, at least for typography-lovers, is Fontly; a Web and iPhone app that lets users discover, track and share vintage typography by location.

    Although it has only recently launched, the service already has incredible potential as a source for inspiration. It’s clearly a niche service, that will only interest a specific kind of user, but those who are interested will truly love it. The app makes it easy to see vintage type that has been photographed in your own backyard (NYC, for me), but it also offers you the ability to explore other cities and countries — something that would normally require a well-planned trip across the globe.

    Beyond inspiration, Fontly also serves a very meaningful role: to help preserve an incredibly important aspect of the world’s visual heritage. Especially when it comes to hand lettering, vintage signage is a dying art that needs to be captured and preserved. Creator Brendan Ciecko clearly agrees, and explains that Fontly’s users are “taking photos of the world’s ghost signs, neon, architectural, foil lettering, hand-painted, and other typographical wonders.”

    Right now, as early users get acqainted with Fontly, we’re already seeing them take control of the service. You might even find some contemporary designs in the app (we did), but everything still remains 100% typographically focused. If that piques your interest, you know what to do:

    ➤ Fontly for Web & iPhone

    Note: You can’t upload from your camera library yet, so keep that in mind when you take your photos.