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Your Acquisition Questions Answered

By Shelly Wilson on Monday 5th of November 2012

We promised to answer your questions about our future, and true to our word, here they are.

First off, we want to thank all of you for the overwhelming love and support you sent our way on Tuesday. We’re so thankful that the vast majority of our little Typecast community feels as positive about this change and what it could mean for our app as we do.

That said, we know change can be scary. And in the past, we’ve certainly been wary whenever our favorite tools have been acquired by big companies. It’s a pretty normal reaction. As part of our Tuesday blog post, we invited everyone to submit their questions, comments and concerns about the acquisition. We’ve replied to each person individually, but we thought it would help our whole Typecast community to see what the biggest concerns have been and what we have to say about them. So here goes:

Will you still offer fonts from from Typekit, Fontdeck and Google Web Fonts?

The simple answer is yes (sorry if we weren’t clear about it in our earlier post). Monotype has not asked us to drop our other font partners, and we have not cut ties with any of them. To quote from the official press release:

“Typecast customers, however, can continue using any Web font solution that Typecast supports, including the Fonts.com Web Fonts, Typekit®, Fontdeck® and Google® Web Fonts offerings.”

We believe experimentation is crucial to design, and we want you to be able to do that with the best type on the web, no matter the source. That belief doesn’t change now that we’re part of a public company. And in time, we’d love to expand the range of fonts we offer by partnering with even more quality providers. Monotype gets how important this is too. In fact, their Communications Manager Vikki Quick echoed this to .Net on Tuesday afternoon:

“[This acquisition] brings to Monotype not only an innovative product but also a talented team with deep experience in design and web publishing. Although we now own Typecast, we expect that it will continue to support other font services. We completely understand that the ability to combine fonts from many services is a core part of the value that Typecast brings, and that this is something people love about the product.”

We and Monotype are both keen to show our partners and the foundries they work with that this change will be great for Typecast and their many customers who use the app.

But keeping other font providers doesn’t make sense for Monotype.

It actually makes great business sense. The more designers who use web fonts, the larger the market grows. And a larger market is good for Monotype. Typecast is helping to increase the adoption of web fonts by giving designers the freedom to experiment with fonts from lots of services and even mix fonts from different services. It’s this freedom that encourages many designers to give web fonts a try. Monotype recognises this.

Big companies kill innovation with their bureaucracy. How can Typecast possibly expect to be unaffected?

As the .Net article suggests, ours is a bit of an atypical situation. Monotype knows our work and trusts us to keep Typecast on track. They didn’t acquire us to change us. They want to help and learn from us, and so we’re continuing pretty much as is. 

Yes, we have new systems to work with. Yes, now our boss Paul has a boss (tee-hee). Yes, it may take us a little longer to get reimbursed for conference expenses, etc. But creative control over Typecast still lies with Paul (our managing director) and Jamie (our creative director). No change there. Some may think it’s naive of us to believe this will last, but we’ve worked with Monotype a lot this year and we trust that their intentions are good. They’ve given us no reason to deny them the benefit of the doubt.

What about your emails, newsletters and blogs? Will Monotype really let you connect with people in the same personal way you did before?

Well all we can say on this one is so far so good. We’ve already discovered that being part of a public company means there are formal policies on codes of conduct and social media, but these are all common sense. Okay, so legal won’t let us use words like ‘guarantee’ anymore, and we can’t go about committing libel, but that’s not really our style anyway, so we’re not worried. We plan to keep on talking with you just like we always have: honestly and like a normal human being. No robots here.

You say you’re keeping the same team on the product, but surely that won’t last.

We truly believe it will. All 14 staff that were part of Typecast on Monday before the acquisition are still with us today. There have been no new teammates forced upon us, and nobody has been let go. Of course in the years ahead our team may evolve, but teams change. That’s reality. When ours does, we expect that it will only be because staff have chosen to pursue new opportunities or because we need to bring on new skills to benefit the app. We don’t believe that a change of staff can ruin a product. Only a change in ethos and vision can do this. Our team shares the same vision and ethos, and Jamie and Paul safeguard these at the hiring stage and in the day-to-day running of Typecast. So anybody we choose to joins us in the future will enhance that culture, not dilute it.

Listen, this is new for us too and we can’t say with 100% certainty what the future holds. Six days ago we didn’t know we’d be joining Monotype, and we don’t know what surprises are in store tomorrow. But we plan to keep working hard to make Typecast a tool you love using, stay true to our design roots and be honest with you – just like we’ve done up till now. Stick around and enjoy the ride. That would be amazing.

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