Founded by typographers Ben Kiel and Jesse Ragan, XYZ Type is an independent type foundry based in St. Louis, Missouri. Noting that its site needed to be both an e-commerce platform as well as the frontispiece for its brand, XYZ Type turned to design firm Topos Graphics and development firm GrayBits to create a site that was both functional and personal.
Playing off of the finality of the letters X, Y and Z, Topos Graphics decided that the site should highlight a typographic symbol that also means an ending: the period. The landing page features a colorful, randomized selection of periods from XYZ Type’s collection, acting as an invitation to explore the foundry’s fonts. In the background of each product page, an enormous period subtly creates visual interest, while simultaneously and quickly highlighting the difference in each XYZ Type font’s design.
As with the e-commerce sites of other type foundries, XYZ Type’s site features an interactive type tester that lets users try before they buy. However, to prove that its fonts have enough personality for all kinds of applications, the foundry’s type tester can be changed to display fonts in a variety of color schemes, including black and white, reversed white, and bright colors. And, since purchasing a font from a foundry involves the explanation of complex licensing issues and selection of different weights for each font, a user-friendly checklist breaks down the purchasing from start to finish for customers. It’s details like these that make XYZ Type’s site friendly and full of personality.