App Showcase: Fontli
An indistinguishable trait of Microsoft’s powerful, stylistic OS is its strong use of typography. Intertwined between accent colors, boxes and carefully laid gutters, the use of typography to guide users could be considered an art form in and of itself. Negative space is en mass. A font and a few splashes of color, for example, dictates the environment, its navigational queues within the People hub and Me tiles or email app.
In short, Windows Phone 7.5/8 is a typographical-heavy UI that spatters the visible frame in a stylistic and useful manner. It eschews the texture heavy emphasis of iOS and to some degree Android in favor of bold colors and fonts.
It’s no wonder then that as style goes, an app such as Fontli would compliment and exist in a perfect environment that celebrates a font-first approach to UI design.
Fontli is, in a nutshell, a social network devoted to typography. Its sole purpose is to expose typography that’s being used in a clever and enriching way via an advertisement, packaging or product. Users can submit these sightings with a photo onto their personal Fontli account. Once uploaded, other users can view your stream and comment, like or identify whatever font you uploaded.
A great aspect and usefulness of Fontli‘s community is that any font that is uploaded can be identified and matched to a database (MyFonts.com) that you can access directly from the app. In this process, as a designer, it becomes an infinitely advantageous tool. Uploading a font and through the use of collective knowledge Fontli can help you identify certain fonts that could fit a design for a client’s project.
If you happen to like a user’s stream enough, you can also follow the person to keep up to date whenever they upload a new sighting. In this way, like-minded users can populate their feed as new typographic items are submitted by whomever they follow. In a Facebook move, the Fontli team will be your first follower, insuring you’ll never be without a dedicated Fontli friend. They also happen to be pretty active uploading new typographic submissions, so you’ll never have an empty feed.
Design wise, Fontli‘s approach is very much inline with Windows Phone UI. It’s minimalistic and only considers the essentials. The Modern design flows strong with this one. The real emphasis here, on any page, is the typography. It dominates the space provided by the screen. When viewing a submission the picture controls 2/3rds of the page. Under that you have space for comments and “likers”, and a section for sightings.
Overall, Fontli is a designers dream. A social network that dedicates itself to artistic exposition, and for those that like design over low-brow content or socialite agendas. For a refreshing take on a social network, you should download Fontli.
You can download the free app for your Windows Phone here.