Monotype Set to Acquire Bitstream’s Font Business

There’s been something of a buying spree within the business of type lately, with last month’s announcement that Adobe had purchased Typekit, and now the news from late last week that Monotype, which owns the rights to such typeface designs as Helvetic and ITC Franklin Gothic (among thousands upon thousands of others), is preparing to acquire Bitstream‘s font business. For an all-cash payout of $50 million, the purchase will give Monotype access to Bistream’s “89,000 fonts from nearly 900 foundries,” will make them the new owners of the popular What’s The Font” site, and will also bring over approximately 55 employees from Bitstream’s current roster (Bistream itself will continue as a company, just no longer working with type). Given the bulking up on type companies by both Monotype and Adobe, this recent purchase wasn’t exactly met with universal applause. Type designer Erik Spiekermann, never one to hold back on voicing his opinion, tweeted a number of responses to the sale, including that his company FontShop is now “the only major survivor outside the font monopoly” and asked, “Will Monotype Imaging be renamed Monopoly Imaging after buying Bitstream?”