Typeface websites are a masterclass in digital marketing
PLUS: An animated essay on taming complexity with design
Designing for Delight
A @tinystride publication
🌞 Good morning. To kick off your week, let’s explore how the world’s best type foundries use visually stunning long-form interactive marketing microsites to sell their typefaces.
Plus, stick around for:
The role of product designers in taming complexity
An essay from an Adobe exec about the impact of AI on digital products
The Fantastical World of Typeface Marketing
Indie Mac app creator Macpaw just released a new gorgeous new typeface called Fixel, along with a dedicated microsite to show it off.
As I was browsing the Fixel site, it hit me: typeface creators have some of the best landing pages the internet.
Many of them are a masterclass in copywriting, stunning visual design, “try before you buy” interactive components, and social proof.
The new typeface Fixel, by Macpaw
Typeface websites exist to sell a digital product, but many of them are a work of art themselves. There’s lots to learn for designers working on positioning digital products that can sell as well as delight and inspire.
Here are 6 incredible typeface marketing sites from independent type foundries that will inspire your work this week
GT Maru, Grilli Type
By far the most fun on the list, the GT Maru site is delightful with every scroll. Full of easter eggs, fun movement, and interactive elements, this site has a colorful personality befitting the typeface’s playful attitude.
I think the most effective element on the GT Maru site is the storytelling at the top of the page.
It tells how a Swiss designer created the typeface after a trip to Japan, drawing inspiration from the dramatic differences in Swiss and Japanese signage. That gives the typeface a deeper meaning. This story, combined with the cute elements on the page creates a powerful narrative world that other designers will want to tap into for their own projects.
Aperçu, Colophon Foundry
London-based Colophon Foundry uses a distinctively minimalist aesthetic without sacrificing usability. See it in action on their typeface Aperçu.
They’ve built a suite of tools for each typeface including an Overview page to highlight the details of the typeface, as well as a beautiful Proofer page to let users play with the font in the browser and get a feel for it before purchasing. Users can switch between the sections with an interactive breadcrumb component.
Fixel, by MacPaw
The Fixel site is delightful all the way through, starting with the large title type in header, which shows off Fixel’s variable width features (and hides a friendly cat) by varying the weight as you hover.
Founder’s Grotesk, Klim Type Foundry
Klim Type Foundry’s site is crisp and grid-driven. I especially love the Founder’s Grotesk landing page, which really effectively uses small font sizes for interface elements alongside gigantic font sizes for the font samples. This effect is extremely pleasing and does a great job showcasing the typeface.
The “In Use” section is powerful social proof camouflaged as a stunning moodboard. For designers considering a purchase, it’s powerful to see the typeface expertly used at the hand of designers at well-known companies and organizations.
Inter, Rasmus Andersson
Inter (every product designer’s favorite UI typeface) has a wonderful overview page packed with samples and tools. From the nav, visitors can explore design samples that use the typeface and try the font in a full-featured editor.
Btw if you’re a part of the Inter fan club, Rasmus has done a great job building a world around the typeface. You can go deeper by picking up an Inter poster for your office or read through this just-published handbook explaining the design theory behind Inter.
GT Pressura, Grilli Type
Grilli Type’s microsites are all stunning, so I had to include another one. I love the massive font sizes, the simple color scheme, and the subtle movement on the GT Pressura site.
While you’re there, be sure to click through all the typefaces on the Grilli Type website and scroll down to each microsite. Each one is a world of its own to get lost in (check out GT Planar if you want to lose an afternoon). Oh and of course, the typefaces themselves are all wonderful.
Worth a Click
From “Make Me Think, @ralphammer
Make Me Think — A visual essay featuring a series of beautifully animated sketches articulating the role of product designers in taming complexity. Thanks to Maggie Appleton for digging up this older article and giving it some fresh attention last week on Twitter.
Poor Charlie’s Almanack on Stripe Press — A jaw-dropping landing page from Stripe Press announcing a reprint of the esteemed Charlie Munger’s Poor Charlie’s Almanack. I’d try to describe it, but… I don’t think I can. You really have to see this one for yourself.
The Personalization Wave, A Surge of Wildly Human-Intensive Non-Scalable Experiences, & Ideas Of The Month — This piece from Adobe executive Scott Belsky is a must-read for product designers on how AI might result in a massive wave of personalization and “non-scaleable” human experiences.
Tweet of the Week
Here’s why I’m not worried about AI.
On the left is a Player Piano. They can cost as little as $2000 and they play themselves. This one was in a mall, and everyone was ignoring it.
On the right is a human playing a piano in a mall.
— Jon Yongfook (@yongfook)
May 7, 2023
That’s it for today. Thanks for reading!