FontBook Spurs iPad Users’ Typographic Creativity

Stephen Yagielowicz

The hardcover print version of FontBook has long been praised as a required resource for high-end designers and others seeking just the right look to their text-containing work.

Now, a hot new iPad app brings this reference to users on the go.

If typography were a religion, this would be the Bible.

“If typography were a religion, this would be the Bible,” boasts FontBook publisher FSI FontShop International GmbH, which says its app is the world’s most comprehensive typographic reference tool.

A $5.99 download from iTunes (the print version retails for around $100) Font-Book ( contains 110 type foundries and more than 620,000 typeface examples.

According to FSI, the Font-Book app is primarily an online browsing tool that displays all of its content only when the iPad has Internet access via a Wi-Fi or 3G connection; if there is no connection, users can temporarily disable the “Include online content” setting.

This enables the app to display a reduced selection of content which will work offline —switching back to the full version when a connection becomes available.

FontBook allows users to look up and view fonts by name; style category; typographical sub-classification; designer name; foundry name; year of publication; and by similarity of design. Users can assemble favorite font lists, while the “compare” tool easily previews fonts.

Its publisher says that FontBook was especially designed for fast, easy navigation, “works as a fun playground for finding inspiration,” and will be continually updated — adding type specimens as they become available.

Supporting English and German, FontBook is compatible with any iPad running iOS version 4.2 or later and worthwhile for anyone seeking highly targeted font information.