Bill Davis is the spokesperson of Monotype, a leading company in the sector of fonts distribution. He has been in Barcelona these days, in the Annual Type Conference-ATypl, where he has presented the agreement made with Arrels Fundació aimed to make public the project HomelessFonts and to make people aware of the reality of homeless people through fonts. We talked to him about his vision of the project.
What is the importance of presenting a project as HomelessFonts in the Atypl Conference?
This conference is very important because it brings people from the typography community, designers, historians, specialists in fonts together and it is great to meet and present HomelessFonts to this kind of audience, trying to add more support for the project.
How did you know HomelessFonts and why did you decide to cooperate?
In Monotype we always insist on the return culture, making a conscious effort to collaborate in social causes at a local level. When we knew HomelessFonts we thought it was a fantastic project and decided to collaborate on it.
Had you previously been involved in any other social causes?
We have collaborated with local food banks, Paralympics and some projects as Habitat for Humanity. We have also been involved in causes and projects related some way with our objective. For instance, we have collaborated with street papers, driven by homeless people and have also participated in the redesign of Spare Change News, the EEUU oldest free daily newspaper.
As an expert in typography what do you perceive through the letters of HomelessFonts?
It is a wonderful feeling. I like the initiative because it captures what is more important in typography: that every single letter has its own personality and feeling. And HomelessFonts gets it, showing that before every letter there is a person. I believe that through these letters messages with defined personality can be sent.
The fact that a company like Monotype helps to distribute the letters HomelessFonts can help to raise awareness about the problems of homeless people?
We expect to contribute to make the project visible. On one hand, among our offices around the world and on the other hand, bringing it to our clients and also other companies. Buying a license HomelessFonts distributed by Monotype means getting involved with the reality of homeless people and, moreover, the benefits will be donated to Fundació Arrels for its projects with homeless people in Barcelona.
You have used your visit to the Atypl conference to learn first-hand about the work of fundació Arrels. What do you think about it?
Before visiting you I had already a good perception of your work through your web page, but to meet the volunteers, attended people and facilities have helped to amplify this feeling.
Finally, could you talk us about Monotype to learn more about you?
Monotype was founded more than 125 years ago and has been leading the typographic market through years . In 2013 we grew by 11% and currently a total of 445 people are employed in our company. Our online library contains thousands of fonts, having some of the most used designs around the world, such as Times New Roman, Helvetica and Franklin Gothic, among others. And in 2013 our website received more than 68 million visits from more than 200 countries from all over the world.