What The Font?

By Erin Warren

Traditionally a font has been defined as a specific size and style of a particular typeface. Thanks to the ever changing world of computers, a broader definition has evolved. Font is no longer size-specific, but still refers to a single style. However, according to Wikipedia, the term font is also often used as a metonym for typeface. Today there are thousands of fonts to choose from and distinguishing between them can certainly be a task.

Is there a font that you’ve seen, but don’t know it’s name? Looking for some type inspiration for a project, but don’t know where to begin? The answer to both questions can be found at MyFonts.com, a site exploding with 2.0-esque features that make it simple to identify and find the right font for any project. The greatest part about this new site is the WhatTheFont feature, which allows users to upload a mystery font, identify what it is, and then download it! You simply submit an image of a font in use and WhatTheFont will use character recognition to find the closest matches in the database.

On the go? Myfonts takes it a step further and introduces WhatTheFont for iPhone! You can use your phone’s camera to snap a pic of the font in question. The app has a feature allowing you to crop the image, focusing on the key features of the font and voilà! A list of possible matching fonts at your fingertips. Bonus, the app is free! (image2) Image from myfonts.com. For more info, check out the WhatTheFont for iPhone page , or download the app directly from the iTunes Store.

But wait! The fun doesn’t stop there – if you’re a font junkie and up for challenging others, they have that too! Enter the WhatTheFont Forum where you can upload an image of a font and let others lend a hand in indentifying it. Currently to date there have been 67,866 solved cases, and at last check 73 cases solved so far today!

Never be without a font again. Instant gratification is what it’s all about. A lot has changed about the web and what users have come to expect from it. This is but one small corner of the universe, but is a powerful example of how Web 2.0 interfaces continue to push the frontier of design innovation, and help to improve the designers tool kit daily.


1 Response to “What The Font?”

  1. 1 Jeff Zimmerman March 3, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    I’ve tried the What the Font iPhone app. If you take a screen shot (of a web site or app), it usually works pretty well, but pictures taken with the iPhone’s camera are usually too blurry to accurately identify the font. It’s a shame because I am always seeing fonts that I wish I could use later.

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