A GarageFonts Transition

01/14/2023

Hello to all. In this initial entry in our blog, we are writing to introduce ourselves and to let you know that GarageFonts is starting a new chapter. I am Jon Young (Tiotype), the new owner of GarageFonts as of June 2022. I am running the operations of the GarageFonts type foundry, along with Elena Gonzalez, our foundry admin. Our headquarters is currently based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

To begin, we'd like to say a few words about Ralph Smith, previous owner of the foundry.

In 1999, Ralph's font distribution company Phil's Fonts purchased GarageFonts from Betsy Kopshina and Norbert Shultz, the original founders of the foundry. Under Ralph's leadership, GarageFonts experienced 23 years of creative innovation and steady growth.

Sadly, Ralph passed away in Silver Spring MD, on October 4, 2022. I had met Ralph in 2003, when he hired me to work with him and he became a great mentor. Without his wisdom, training, and advice I would not have been involved in the font world to the degree that I am today.

In 2003, several years after graduating from American University, I made the decision to move back to Washington, DC after working for several years in Pittsburgh, PA. I was a graphic designer fascinated by fonts. I was searching online for digital type foundries in the DC area, during a time when digital type foundries were few and far between. I was excited to find Phil's Fonts/GarageFonts and was hired by Ralph as a designer and web developer. From Ralph, Harold Baldus, and Trish Smith (my other colleagues at the company), I learned so much about running a foundry and selling fonts online. It was a great match for me, and the Phil's Fonts crew was a fantastic small group of people working in a field that fascinated me. I'll always be thankful to Ralph for that opportunity and for his guidance over the years. Ralph ran Phil's Fonts and GarageFonts with an equal measure of energy, passion, humor, and determination that will always be an inspiration.

Going forward, the new GarageFonts aims to be a steward of the library and to build on its legacy by releasing new typefaces that are relevant, significant, purposive, and beautiful.

—Jon