Deals

Twitter co-founder, others back Small Batch's web typography

Small Batch Inc., which is developing a service for web designers called Typekit, said today it has raised an undisclosed amount of funding from some big names in the tech world: Twitter chief executive and co-founder Evan Williams, Flickr and Hunch founder Caterina Fake, Automattic founder Matt Mullenweg, well-known angel investors Ron Conway and Chris Sacca, plus True Ventures (which led the funding) and Freestyle Capital.

So what’s the big, world-changing idea that would draw such a distinguished crowd of investors? Small Batch has already launched a service called Wikirank that tracks the popularity of Wikipedia articles, but it sounds like the funding was really for the yet-to-be-released Typekit, which the company describes as a service allowing designers to include fonts on their websites that are both visually pleasing and free from the legal constraints surrounding most existing fonts. Here’s a little more detail:

We’ve built a technology platform that lets us to host both free and commercial fonts in a way that is incredibly fast, smoothes out differences in how browsers handle type, and offers the level of protection that type designers need without resorting to annoying and ineffective [digital rights management]. As a Typekit user, you’ll have access to our library of high-quality fonts. Just add a line of JavaScript to your markup, tell us what fonts you want to use, and then craft your pages the way you always have. Except now you’ll be able to use real fonts.

Later in the press release, chief executive Jeffrey Veen elaborates: “Typography is the last missing piece of great web design. We’re working closely with type designers to create a new market for their work.”

San Francisco-based Small Batch says it will release a preview of Typekit in the next few weeks. Veen previously co-founded Adaptive Path, and the team also built Measure Map, a blogging statistics tool acquired by Google.