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Name that Typeface from 1932: Advanced Font Search

Posted by Rebecca Blake on April 07, 2014

Designing a poster for a production of “Ragtime” and want to achieve typographic authenticity? Visit the Advanced Search feature on Fonts in Use. The search parameter will permit you to search for fonts by publish date, or covering dates before or after a particular year. Additional search fields will let you select by foundry, designer or agency, published format (including tablet/iPad), location, etc. The results are displayed in thumbnails with the typefaces used listed underneath. Clicking onto the font name will take you to a page listing the designer and foundry, with links to their websites, and a list of related faces.

The samples displayed are pulled from examples submitted to contributors to Fonts in Use, and are limited to that database. Searching by multiple fields can yield little to no results. However, Fonts in Use is soliciting contributions to their collection. To do so, you must create an account. Once that’s done, you can upload samples from your computer, or add images directly from the Web or Flckr. Submissions are reviewed by staff, who can also identify the submitted fonts. (Custom lettering is not accepted.)

While the material on the site is published under the doctrine of fair use, the website encourages contributors to include the source, designer, and photographer, if possible. The site also asks that they be notified if any work is identified as infringing on copyright. A full description of how to contribute to the collection is included in their FAQs page. Fonts in Use is a public archive of typography founded by Sam Berlow, Stephen Coles, and Nick Sherman. It exists independently of any type foundry or corporation. In addition to the collection, the site includes a blog with articles written by contributors such as Roger Black and Indra Kupferschmid.

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