Critique: What I like and what I dislike on Typeface Sales Website

sim's picture

My approach is not scientific. I am appealing to your experience. I would like to know, briefly, what do you like and what you dislike from the typeface sales website. In fact, in your opinion what are the strengths and weaknesses of the sites you visit. The site name is not required, simply indicate, for example: “I love when I can test several character heights” or “I hate if I have to go through another site to buy a font or I should wait one to two days before receiving the family bought”.

Again, the site name is not required. Thank you in advance.


hrant's picture

My main complaint has been where renderings are obscured with patterns, watermarks, etc. in order to prevent people swiping the settings. When you think about it, it makes no sense, and reduces the appeal/accuracy of the font.

And one thing I'd like to see [more] is the ability to compare fonts side-by-side (at least in the case of font houses with large libraries).


Renko's picture

I would love to have more possibilities to choose a typeface with extended characterset. For example if I am looking for Sans Serifs with CEE, greek and cyrillic sets it is a hell to filter them out on the regular sites.

Mugford's picture

The Adobe font site drives me nuts - most google links to it just get redirected to their main fonts page. I find it very hard to navigate.

BeauW's picture

I want to know the price up front. Don't make me add a font to my basket just to see how much it is. I have given up on a purchase, not because the font was too expensive, but just because I was irritated.

Bendy's picture

I like to see PDFs and/or have a type tester that goes large. (And agree with Hrant about squiggly patterns.)

I like to be able to buy just the weights I need. I like an assortment of bundles.

I like clear, straightforward web design.

I like to see who designed something, what their rationale was, and how they realised their concept.

I like tags rather than categories. And the facility to view similar fonts (though I've never seen this implemented very intelligently).

I like ones where you can send a question to a real person.

I don't like having to wade through hundreds of rubbish offerings that are not really commercial quality. Apart from getting in the way, they also make you wonder whether the stuff you're interested in is actually good enough quality (spacing, kerning, glyph sets, hinting, opentype features).

Mugford's picture

YES, what BeauW said.

BrettR's picture

I like it when they paste the price tag in broad daylight instead of hiding it.
Nothing is more annoying that falling in love with a font and seeing how it has a price tag far beyond what your willing to pay.

sim's picture

Thank you all for your comments. They are all really relevant. Please keep going!


1985's picture

I'd like to have easy access to any alternative characters.

Joshua Langman's picture

I like to be able to see and test all alternates, and to read something about the face and designer. I like downloadable PDF specimens. I would really like to see more often the option to buy all optical sizes of a single weight as a package, with an appropriate bulk discount. Sometimes choosing these manually ends up costing more than the complete package with all sizes and weights. (I rarely use bold, but often need optical sizes of the normal weight roman and italic.) Thus, websites that do not do the above things can be annoying.

.00's picture

Gee, it seems that almost all of your requests are available from my site:

Dan B.'s picture

I dislike the use of Flash as it tampers with the way I use my browser (e.g. opening a new tab by middle click). Sorry, James. Couldn't resist ;-)

Bendy's picture

I love to see snapshots of the process with drawings/early tests with some explanation. But I realise not everyone will be at all interested.

James, that's really quite a nice site. Only thing that bugs me there is that you've put lights with bolds and mediums with heavies; if I were buying a set I'd probably want medium with bold. Looking at Moraine, The contrast between Medium and Heavy is a bit much for me and I'd go for the Extrabold, I think. Also, I don't understand why all the font sets appear three times — is my browser playing up?

.00's picture

I've assembled the sets the way I think they work best, but if you wanted to pick out your own four font set, you get the same discounted price. The same goes for any combination of 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, or 20.

forrest's picture

Clear pricing, and big PDF samples in a wide variety of sizes, with at least several paragraphs at each size. I want to be able to print things out, on paper, and look at them.

Also, when buying a set offers a substantial discount over individual fonts, I'd really like the cost of buying one font to be put toward the overall price of the set if I buy a set. I can see "gambling" to buy a basic weight of one font, roman, and then testing it myself in print. And if I like it, getting other weights, italics etc.

BeauW's picture

PDF samples are a big bonus. Sometimes I print them out, but mostly, I just download them as a type of bookmark that I will run across in my files to remind me of a font I want to buy. That way, I don't have to make my way back to your site to remember that I love a certain font.

Joshua Langman's picture

My favorite feature on font sale sites is "Anguished English" quotations.

Synthview's picture

Agree with Forrest : the possibility to scale my purchase, if I but a single weight or a set, to complete with other weights/complementary sets.
I'd like to see more clearly the opentype features implemented and be able to test-drive them.
I hate when the glyphs table (character set) doesn't show alternate/OT specific glyphs.
I also hate when the supported languages list is not present and I like to filter my search by supported language.

dezcom's picture


sim's picture

Many thanks to all of you for your answers, those one are really interesting. Do not hesitate, keep going.

riccard0's picture

It would be useful to see the results of a search for a given style (say, for example, I’m looking for a geometric sans, but I need just the bold italic). I’m not sure about how it could be implemented, given the different naming conventions and the occasional single font with just that style.

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