I don’t normally plug foundries, but this is noteworthy: Monotype is supporting designers at the beginning of their careers with the equivalent of a ‘startup investment’, to enable designers to prepare new typefaces for publication. For many designers who are starting their careers, this kind of support – essentially buying them time to finish off weights and styles, or fill out a large character set – may make the difference between getting a typeface published quickly or have it languish on their hard disk. The terms of the ‘offer’ are pretty good, and the inclusion of feedback from a senior designer is noteworthy.
I should add that this is not the only thing that Monotype does to support promising typeface designers: for the past six years they have been funding a generous studentship for a postgraduate student at Reading; often this has made the difference between the recipient being able to study here or not.
Although this level of support may not be generally feasible for smaller foundries, it is a very good way for the larger font publishers and distributors to support the industry. Hopefully others will imitate this initiative.