Monotype buys FontShop in £7.5m deal

Monotype has acquired Berlin-based type foundry FontShop, which was founded in 1989 by Erik and Joan Spiekermann and Neville Brody.

Monotype says the deal is worth around £7.5 million, and also gives it ownership of US subsidiary FontShop International, the FontFont typeface library – which features more than 2500 typefaces – and 13 typefaces designed by Erik Spiekermann.

FontShop has also operated the TYPO conferences in Berlin, London and the US, and Monotype says it intends to continue the TYPO events.

FontShop also operates features such as ‘Tryout’, which lets users ‘test-drive’ webfonts in real-time.

Monotype says the deal will allow it to grow its consumer base, particularly in Germany, which it describes as ‘one of the world’s strongest regions in design’.

Erik Spiekermann says, ‘As a typeface designer who cares deeply about the industry in which I work, I have watched Monotype not merely survive, but grow and prosper. They have become respected experts in the business and the technology of type.

‘Having my typefaces become part of the Monotype foundry will make sure that they, as well as the other FontFonts, will benefit from Monotype’s strengths. The industry-at-large will be stronger once FontShop adds its creative prowess to Monotype’s business.’

Doug Shaw, president and chief executive of Monotype, says, ‘FontShop’s strong relationships with typeface designers, acute knowledge of the creative professional community, high-quality IP, strong e-commerce business and highly regarded TYPO events, will add immediate value to our business and help us continue on our mission of being the first place to turn for typefaces, technology and expertise.’

The FontShop acquisition follows Monotype’s buyout of Cardiff-based consultancy Mark Boulton Design in April. Monotype also bought Belfast consultancy Design by Front, which developed the typecast web-design toolkit, in 2012.

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