The future of font sorting
Every designer knows the often painful process of picking the right type for the job. It's an endless search through a dropdown or font-picker. Sometimes there are options to sort based on classification or proposed use, but more frequently designers are stuck with an alphabetical list of disparate fonts. Thanks to technology, this might change very soon.
Florian Shulz, a Zurich-based interaction designer, just released a futuristic way to sort and filter your typefaces. Using Frederik De Bleser’s opentype.js, Shulz was able to access the glyph designs of every font in Google’s library. Then, through a series of inventive algorithmic tests, he could analyze the stroke contrast, x-height, width, weight, and similarity of all the faces the catalogue. It's important to note, too, that this method could be applied to TypeKit, Monotype’s Library, or even a locally stored collection.
Shulz put his skills as an interaction designer to work, constructing an app that allows users to sift through the 800+ fonts online: The Anatomy of a Thousand Typefaces. While still a “demo,” the application seems to work well, offering filter options we have never seen before. Moreover, once a user finds and selects a typeface, the program displays numerical information on contrast, x-height, and so on. Gone are the days of comparing two faces side-by-side to see which is taller or heavier.