Fundrey — the Type Foundry, Reimagined.March 2022
Duration: 3 Weeks
with Bryce Li, Susan Ni, and Christy Zo.
Fundrey is an app concept that aims to use blockchain to humanize the typeface development and purchase process.
*More process work coming soon! Thank you for your patience︎
Problem SpaceAs 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.
Stakeholders: Type Designers & Users (Graphic Designers, Students).
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.
- Interviews — Adjunct Professor & Typeface Designer
Findings ︎︎︎ Clustering ︎︎︎ Color coding ︎︎︎ Affinity Diagram using Themes
- 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.
1. Lower barriers for purchasing typefaces.
◦ Tiered levels of access defined by blockchain
• Free trial fonts
• Early stages of fonts for funding
• Proper blockchain ownership
2. Humanize the typeface.
◦ Inform the users that fonts are:
• A creative process
• Someone’s hard work and creative inspiration
3. 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?
︎︎︎ Metadata Verification and Ledger Implementation!
User Journey: Typeface Designer
User Journey: Typeface User
Scenario: Typeface Designer
Here, 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
Here, 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.
“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.