Eric Hu

Posted on May 05, 2021Read on

Towards a Decentralized Autonomous Type Foundry Part I


I've been trying to write something about this for the past few months but I haven't been satisfied with my attempts to articulate the ideas in my head.

So, rather than letting my thoughts grow stale perhaps I can start by posing a question:

It's not a whitepaper—but it's a signal of sorts. I know for a fact that I'm not the only person thinking about this. This is a flag that I'm planting with hopes that likeminded people would see it at a distance and respond.

A tapestry of emerging technologies are coalescing to form the next generation of the web that will have a shockwave effect on multiple industries. What implications (good, bad, hypothesized, actualized) do Web3 and blockchain technologies have on the practice of designing and distributing typefaces at large?

What are opportunities ahead of us that:

  • Protect the integrity of the industry from bad faith actors and monopolizing forces?
  • Allow for more novel ways to share resources and profits between type designers, foundries, and users of typefaces that subvert the traditional designer / foundry split?
  • Allow for more fairness and equitable inclusion for emerging type designers?
  • Introduce new and novel methods and incentives to fund future type design projects and type design careers?
  • Introduce frictionless bounties for language support, non-latin scripts, and other features that extend the inclusivity and range of any given typeface
  • Allow for better protections against unwanted intellectual property theft? While ushering a new culture of consensual remixes, covers, and homages where everyone is compensated and credited fairly?
  • Allow for more streamlined and novel ways to distribute typefaces beyond the current licensing models?
  • Allow for productive and meaningful organizing strategies to enact larger change?

I'll start with that for now.

While You're Waiting: Some Further Reading

A Beginner's Guide to DAOs

Introducing Splits

Creator DAOs: An OS for Participation

Platform Cooperative

Eight Qualities of Decentralized Autonomous Organizations

The Ownership Economy

Now open: ERC-1155 marketplace


Digital Social Contracts: A Foundation for an Egalitarian and Just Digital Society [PDF]


Twitter: @_erichu Email: [email protected]

Special Thanks to Eugene Angelo, and the rest of FWB for all the conversations leading up to this.