As any graphic design student will tell you, the cost of quality fonts can really add up during the course of one’s studies. But thanks to a recent forward-looking gift from Monotype, Art Center students will soon be relieved of this major expense. Beginning this year the global provider of typeface solutions is providing all full- and part-time students enrolled at the College with free access to and use of 58 desktop fonts in a “Student Font Pack” as well as the company’s complete slate of web fonts — from Arcadia to Zeitgeist.
The commitment, valued at approximately $3.7 million, is the second largest in-kind gift in the College’s history.
According to Nik Hafermaas, Graphic Design department chair, the gift will have a significant impact on Art Center student work. “Using quality fonts is a key to successful graphic design,” he explains. “Their expense can limit creative exploration. On behalf of the Graphic Design department I’m extremely grateful to Monotype providing this opportunity to Art Center’s next generation of artists and designers.”
“High quality font designs with depth, breadth and extended value can serve as a foundation for building strong typographic skills,” adds Allan Haley, Monotype’s director of words and letters and the driving force behind the company’s gift. “With the right fonts, students will be able to create professional-quality print materials, effective websites, rich interactive experiences and dynamic mobile content.”
Haley recalls struggling to produce quality work in a time prior to digital fonts: “When I was a student — I know I’m dating myself horribly — type for projects was limited to my feeble hand-drawn headlines, half-used dry transfer lettering sheets and the few complete fonts of metal type available in the design lab. It was like taking a painting class and being limited to a few cheap brushes and half a dozen colors. After graduation it was an epiphany for me to see what terrific graphic design could be produced when a deep, rich and wide typographic palette is available.”
Art Center faculty member and Art Center Leader annual donor Sean Adams offers this culinary analogy: “Typefaces are to a designer as ingredients are to a chef, and the difference between a beautifully drawn Monotype typeface and a free download font from a dubious source is like the difference between sirloin and ground chuck. Monotype’s gift helps ensure that Art Center designers graduate to become the nation’s leaders in design.”