On Saturday, May 23 Jana Kühl, UI/UX Designer and FontShop.com’s creative motor, and Jörg Haubrichs, Senior Internet Software Developer and Manager Web Development at FontShop received the Gold award in the Digital Self-Promotion category at the European design Awards ceremony in Istanbul’s fine arts school Mimar Sinan University. They represented a much larger team that is responsible for the ‘next’ FontShop website, the site you are currently visiting. Simple, but radical, it officially launched at the end of 2014 after it had been accessible in public beta for a couple of months to gather and incorporate user feedback. The basic principle seems deceptively straightforward – to reduce all unneeded clutter and focus on the important, allowing the typefaces to unfold their beauty. Yet to achieve such simplicity is hard, especially since there is an enormous database of tens of thousands of fonts behind the facade. The main objectives of the website are twofold. On the one hand it invites people to not only buy fonts, but to play and interact with them, to discover their characteristics and learn about their features. On the other hand it simplifies the buying and discovering of fonts by using cutting edge technology that makes FontShop.com not only fun, but fast.
The development of the ‘next’ FontShop started in September 2013 with the EdenSpiekermann and FontShop teams equally sharing the work. The project was overseen by FontShop’s and FontFont’s Marketing Director and the site’s Product and Business Owner Ivo Gabrowitsch with Katharina Birkenbach (EdenSpiekermann) and Jana Kühl (FontShop) as Creative Leads, UX Design, and Jörg Haubrichs as Development Lead. The seven-strong development team comprised of Spiros Martzoukos, Mike Smart, Clemens Carlstedt, Maik Kuntze, Mark Ballew, Jason Chapin, and Star Morin, with design assistance from Riccardo Carlet and Alexander Roth. The website uses FF Sero, FF Yoga Sans), and FF Netto Icons as principal typefaces. The database, the beating heart and brain of FontShop, is maintained by Sebastian Maack, Mai-Linh Truong, and Fabian Posada.
After an entire year of intense partnership the FontShop team continued on its own, while EdenSpiekermann still support us a little bit with Frontend Development. I am but one of the many further contributors (see the list at the bottom) that populate the pages with editorial content, like FontShop News, the [information pages] like for example our Glossary, the discovery pages like our popular Fontlists, and so on. As I discussed with Ivo when I was at the Berlin office after TYPO last week, we – the FontShop team – have a skewed vision of our website. Because our ultimate goal is to create the best possible information-rich typographic platform for our users, we end up hyper-focusing on every little bug, debating every bit of feedback we receive, obsessing about every sentence or graphic, trying to improve every single detail that could make the user experience a more enjoyable one. By doing so we sometimes lose sight of what the website actually already achieves. Receiving this prestigious award is a nice confirmation that we must be doing something right, a pat on the shoulder that encourages us to continue our work.
Ivo Gabrowitsch | “It’s fantastic to receive all the positive reactions from our customers who seem to enjoy our new website. But seeing it recognized by independent design experts is a bonus that makes us even happier. My amazing team definitely deserves this Gold award.”
But it doesn’t end here. Just last week, we heard that we have also been nominated for the much acclaimed Net Awards and are up against the likes of the White House, Airbnb and the Guardian in the category Redesign of the Year. Unlike other award schemes there is no entry process or entry fee and the selection is based entirely on nominations and then votes, so we are over the moon that FontShop.com has been selected. Voting is really quick and easy and only takes a minute online here: FontShop.com | Nominated in Redesign of the Year
Jana Kühl | “The cooperation with EdenSpiekermann at the beginning of the project was really fertile. It is hard to believe how much we managed to achieve in such a short period of time. And then this – first the TDC award, now a gold EDAward, and a nomination for the Net Awards. It feels great to see our hard and intensive work is recognized.”
Further contributors to the ‘next’ FontShop website are Lucy Beckley, Natalie Torbett, Petra Weitz, Jürgen Siebert, Tabitha Grayson, Robert Stulle, Andrea Franke, Richard Bausek, Magnus Jonsson, Johannes Wagener, Patrick Kozma, Scott Savarie, Erik Spiekermann, Christian Jansky, Michael Post, Nils Töpfer, Yves Peters, David Sudweeks, and many, many more.