Throughout history, the representation of FLINTA*—F=female, L=lesbians, I=inter-, N=non-binary, T=trans, A=agender—professionals across disciplines and industries has been limited. Like many other fields, type design is not an exception. These shortcomings led to the foundation of “FLINT*ype,” an online archive for increasing the visibility of FLINTA* designers in typography and fostering equality within the industry. Initiated by graphic and type designers Lilot Kammermeier, Sophia Krayc, Coco Lobinger, and Hannah Witte in 2022, FLINT*ype aims to encourage discussions about the current structures in type design by representing the diversity of the field.
“FLINT*ype” serves as a database of FLINTA* type designers and their typefaces arranged by font style, class, supported languages, year of release, and origin. That way, filtering through this database also creates awareness of the gap in representation between different regions. Typefaces play a crucial role in communication, as they provide voices for diverse cultures and communities. “With ‘FLINT*ype,’ we would like to offer a counterpart to the so-called type classics, which are usually designed by white, cis-male designers and thus reproduce the norm of Eurocentric and male-dominated graphic design. However, our platform shows that there are many qualitative alternatives of FLINTA* designers,” Lilot tells C24.
Although we are nowhere near equality in this industry, it seems as though the topic has gained more momentum within the past couple of years, leading to “a lot of exciting projects and collections that focus on type design from marginalized groups,” as Sophia explains. “However, these collections are mostly more specific. For example, the ‘Adobe’ collection only contains fonts by women that are also available at ‘Adobe Fonts.’ The same is true for the ‘Fontstand’ collection, curated by typographer Indra Kupferschmied. The collection ‘Badass Libre Fonts by womxn’ a project by Loraine Furter, focuses on open-source fonts. Overall, all these platforms led us to the need to generate a tool by ourselves that combines all these collections on a single page to make the search for the right FLINTA* font more accessible and easier.”
With collaboration at the core of their ethos, the platform aims to regularly invite other designers to curate a type collection based on a chosen theme. “These collections contribute to breaking a binary and Eurocentric view on type design and represent a multi-layered canon of perspectives and type designers instead,” Coco explains. The typefaces presented in these collections will also flow into the data pool of FLINT*ype and allow the archive to grow. Besides that, users can add their work or suggest typefaces from other designers via the submission form. “As the four of us share similar social and hegemonic backgrounds, the contributions of others are indispensable,” Hannah reflects. “Submissions help us to include as many perspectives on type design as possible.”
In the future, Lilot, Sophia, Coco, and Hannah would like to hire an expert in barrier-free design to make the platform more accessible and inclusive. To support FLINT*ype in their cause, donate here. All donations will be used for the maintenance and development of the site and to offer fair payments to the web developers and curators involved in the project.
List of resources sharing typefaces by FLINTA* designers:
Typothèque by Bye Bye Binary
BADASS LIBRE FONTS BY WOMXN by Loraine Furter
Fonts by Women by Adobe
Fonts by Women by Indra Kupferschmid on Fontstand
Typequality by Kimberly Ihre