Monotype launches app that identifies typefaces in world around us

WhatTheFont uses image recognition technology that enables people to discover what fonts are being used in real life, simply through snapping a photo of an object or sign.

Monotype has launched an app that lets people take photos of things in the world around them and identify the typefaces being used.

The type foundry says that WhatTheFont is primarily aimed at designers and creatives, who are after font inspiration for a project or who want to find out whether they can purchase a specific typeface. It was created for digital font store MyFonts.

It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and image recognition technology, in a similar way to apps such as PlantSnapp, used to identify plants and flowers, and CamFind, which identifies objects.

The app works by users taking a photo of whatever object or thing they see in real life that has text on it.

The text is then detected and highlighted, and users can pick the particular part of text that they want to identity with a crop box – for example, if several typefaces have been used in one place.

The app then identifies the typeface used and tells the user its name. It also has a MyFonts online store function, which lets users either buy the typefaces they have found, or save the name of the typeface to check it out later.

WhatTheFont can currently identify 130,000 different typefaces, and all of these are available to buy through the online store.

The app is able to identity connected scripts as well as individual letters and outlines, says Monotype, and can also find multiple typefaces within one image.

Users are able to rotate and edit images within the app if necessary, and background scenery does not affect the effectiveness of identification, adds the type foundry.

It is currently available to download on the iOS and Android app stores, and an online version exists on the MyFonts site.


Hide Comments (6)Show Comments (6)
  • Neil Littman November 8, 2017 at 8:23 am

    Brilliant. Wanted something like this for some time. Have a couple of samples already to check out

  • David Lee November 15, 2017 at 8:06 am

    Great app – shame the author didn’t provide the links to the relevant iOS/Android app pages.

  • David Frank January 4, 2018 at 6:13 pm

    This app has been around for years, yet you promote this as it’s some amazing new thing.

  • Alison Eddy January 29, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    Ah, my lovely collegue, Jon Daniel, was thyis in human-form 🙁

  • Sue Thomas February 15, 2018 at 9:22 am

    It only seems to identify type which they are linked to?

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