Fundrey — the Type Foundry, Reimagined.

Fundrey is an app concept that uses blockchain to humanize the typeface development and purchase process. 


Bryce Li, Susan Ni, and Christy Zo


4 Weeks, Spring 2022

User Research
UI Design
Brand Identity

Problem Space

As design students, we acknowledge that fonts are software and must be licensed for proper use. Through our investigation we also realize that font piracy is inevitable and it’s happening more often than what we probably want to acknowledge. However, font piracy is also a form theft that hurts someone’s creative property. Thus, our goal is to understand and address this issue through our research.

Research Methods

Stakeholders: Type Designers & Users (Graphic Designers, Students).

  • Surveys
  • Interviews — Adjunct Professor & Typeface Designer

We were able to conduct interviews with Nick Sherman, who is a type designer, as well as Langston Wells and Andrew Twigg, who represent type users in both professional and educational settings. Using the data we collected from interviews and surveys, we were able to create this affinity diagram with four themes including: challenges faced by type designers, inaccessibility of Blockchain technology, font user opinions, and blockchain controversies.

Pain Points

“I want to publish my typeface and protect them.”

“I want to keep it accessible for people while still making money off of it.”

“I want to make money at all stages of typeface development, not just after completion.”


Lower barriers for purchasing typefaces.

Tiered levels of access defined by blockchain
  • Free trial fonts
  • Early stages of fonts for funding
  • Proper blockchain ownership
Humanize the typeface.

Inform the users that fonts are:
  • A creative process
  • Someone’s hard work and creative inspiration
Create relationship between user and designer by establishing trust.

Enhance relationships between creator and user
  • Incentivize both parties
  • Foster trusting relationships
  • Create opportunities to exchange “thank you”s

So, Why Fundrey?

Fundrey uses Metadata Verification and Ledger Implementation to verify purchcases and authenticity.

User Journey



Scenario - Typeface Designer

A designer faces continual piracy and theft of their creative property, and grow increasingly discouraged and frustrated, even facing a lack of motivation to continue creating. They seem out alternative platforms and solutions for presenting their fonts. On fundrey, they can upload their fonts, even before completion, and receive notifications of not only users’ purchases, but also receive funding for work-in-progress fonts.

Scenario - Typeface User

A student designer is tempted to pirate fonts because they feel a lack of connection to the creative process behind the typeface, and the prices and lack of portability between devices. With fundrey, they’re able to gain access to fonts more affordably throughout different stages of development, and realize that the typefaces they use are more than just vectors on a screen. Through this developmental, engaging process of typeface creation and purchase, users and designers establish a more connected and trusting relationship as well.

Further Considerations

“How are you going to address the issues that come up when people use blockchain?”

“What will the carbon footprint of the system look like?”

“People still don’t have sufficient knowledge about blockchain.”

Some areas we would like to address further are aspects of unfamiliarity and stigma around blockchain, and the environmental effects of blockchain.