The new licensing system means that different types of business or customer types can access tailored services.
The other main changes are that all fonts have been optimised for web browsers and that webfonts and mobile app fonts are available directly from the Fontsmith website.
On the new site users can “test drive” fonts online, and can access support, a helpdesk, and find out the background to font designs and their designers. Meanwhile a re-designed blog section encourages “knowledge sharing”.
The site is fully adaptive and responsive, working across desktop, retina tablets and smart phones.
Taylor Thomas has worked with Fontsmith before, designing the front end of its old site, but for the new one it has also designed the back end. The whole project has taken a year, according to partner Marcus Taylor.
Taylor says: “We did explore open source, off-the-shelf packages but we knew we were going to have to create a bespoke solution.”
He adds: “Fonts have evolved a lot in the last few years with the advent of webfonts and mobile app fonts, so we needed to think about that and also show that it’s a premium brand, show the value of fonts and make the user understand the craft.”
Any font selected on the site brings up a carousel of examples. Below this there is a coloured graphic panel where Taylor says his consultancy has “told the story” of the font “and developed a graphic language that highlights certain aspects of a character.”
Thomas says the design allows for “a greater depth of content than the previous site” as it allows the user to view different character sets and weights, which can be navigated quickly across tabs.
Taylor Thomas worked with copywriter Michael Evamy to help “tell the stories” of each font.
Fontsmith’s new licensing structure means that it offers Studio, SME, Digital licences and a new product licence it calls Brandfont.
Fontsmith founder Jason Smith says, “Brandfont is aimed at agencies working for large brands and organisations, and is tailored specifically to offer solutions to any creative brief, ranging from simple corporate licensing and minor modifications, to full bespoke font creation and support.
“This is the type of work we are best known for and have been doing for years, and Brandfont wraps all those customer requirements under one licence, making it simple for all of us.”
Last month foundry Dalton Maag re-launched its website introducing a new “try before you buy” offer which allows fonts to be used in a non-commercial context.