Type Exchange - Rent/Trade Type

Does anyone offer type for rent/trade? I thought of this last week and wondered if anyone participates in something like this or if anyone would be interested?

Let’s say I need a certain wood type and already know what letters I need, I contact a person who has that typeface pay them a fee to rent the letters and pay shipping. After a week or so, I send the type back.

I know type is pretty affordable but for someone like me who doesn’t have the room to store a ton of type cabinets I thought this might be a good suggestion.

Any thoughts?

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Hello diwitman,

I thoroughly understand your situation. I don’t have the funds or the space for a ton of type cabinets either, and I suffer greatly from type envy when I see photos of large rooms flanked with banks of cabinets full of rare and beautiful faces. *Sigh!* Even if I could afford and store the type of my dreams, it would be hard for me to acquire since I’m rather homebound with family responsibilities so I’m limited to what I can pick up via the internet or local contacts.

How I have dealt with this situation is to acquire what I can and design projects to suit the type rather than acquiring type to suit an envisioned project. I believe that a good piece of printed work can be created from any given face. Therefore I choose type on the basis of its condition more than its design. This brings me to your suggestion of renting type. I don’t think most people would want to rent out their type because it’s not likely to be returned in the same condition, especially given today’s world of deep impression.

I would suggest that you limit yourself to using what you can acquire in the way of handset type, and that if you need something specific for a client job, go with photopolymer or metal plates.

The idea of trading type, however, has some merit, though this is the same as buying and selling it minus the monetary intermediary. What I’d like to see is some sort of online clearinghouse where fonts or even individual sorts could be listed. Someone on the Letpress list tried valiantly to get something like this going, but her list was not interactive so I don’t think it got much use.

Thanks for opening up this topic,