Invitation to Artists

Let’s make language beautiful together!

ArtistFont is a creative foundry building a collective typology of fonts by artists and fostering typographic collaborations across disciplines and media. 

Our first release, ArtistFont Miami 01, invites twenty-six artists based in Miami to submit a collection of elements from their creative practice to create fonts. 

The foundry will develop individual dingbat fonts in collaboration with each selected artist and design a collective typographic font family generated using glyphs from all participating artists. 

Each artist will receive a pre-release special edition of their dingbat fonts, those of the other artists, and the collective typographic font family.

Artists are encouraged to collaborate and invite others, such as poets, animators, and designers, to use their fonts to produce new works in any medium for an exhibition celebrating the inaugural foundry release in the Fall of 2022. Sales from fonts, derivative works, and future commissions will generate royalties for the font artists and their collaborators.

Additional ArtistFont Miami volumes will be released for each additional group of twenty-six artists that are selected.

Application Deadline June 30, 2022 at Midnight


ArtistFont is a type foundry with a mission to empower artists by facilitating new modes of expression, collaboration, and revenue opportunities through digital fonts and type-based works.


WIP Please direct questions to Dimitry at hello@artistfont.xyz

What are fonts and why should artists care?

Fonts are a defining part of and catalysts for creating culture. For centuries, fonts have been containers of form, mediums of expression, and tools for collaboration. Their very ubiquity is the primary reason artists should not just use but create fonts. Another is their accessibility and technological fluidity—fonts can be easily shared and used in countless ways.

For our purposes as a digital foundry, a font is fundamentally a piece of software that contains a table of visual artifacts called glyphs. Each glyph is a single representation of a character, typically a letter, number, or punctuation mark in typefaces. But they can be any visual symbol we see on our screens when we tap the keys on a physical or digital keyboard. 

Fonts can be printed, projected, animated, extruded into 3D shapes, stenciled, embedded into websites and apps, extruded into signage, dropped into the metaverse, and most importantly, licensed commercially, creating new markets for artists and their collectors.

Why make fonts in collaboration with ArtistFont?

ArtistFont was founded to facilitate and promulgate font creation by artists and other creatives without a font or type design background. Our mission is to empower artists by facilitating new modes of expression, collaboration, and revenue opportunities for their work through digital fonts and derivative works.

Using fonts is so easy that most people barely think about it. Creating fonts remains technically challenging and laborious. ArtistFont eliminates all the technical hurdles and difficulties. We process your original art to ensure each glyph is suitable for encoding in software distributed as a font file. ArtistFont also handles packaging, marketing, licensing keys, and hosting fonts for safely embedding them in websites and apps. You can focus on creating the best fonts you can imagine.

Founder, Dimitry Saïd Chamy, has a design and fine arts background, studied letterform and font design with some of the best designers in the field, and personally guides all font development. He also has decades of extensive technological product design and entrepreneurial consulting experience.

What is a dingbat or symbol font?

Dingbat fonts have existed for centuries in metal type and decades as digital fonts. A dingbat is a design that is not a letter, number, or punctuation mark in a font. Dingbats include symbols with specific uses like the asterisk * or hashtag # in typographic fonts. Dingbats can also be found in entirely non-typographic fonts for use as ornaments. Fleurons are one type of ornamental dingbat inspired by classic floral and botanical motifs. They were used as framing devices, dividers, and accents in traditional metal typesetting. 

☙ ❦ ❧


The most well-known dingbat font is probably Wingdings designed by Charles Bigelow and Kris Holmes for Microsoft and released in 1990.

Wingdings Glyph Set

Dingbats are a great entry point to font creation for artists because they are essentially drawings and symbols. They don’t demand the technical rigors and design skills that typographic fonts require such as kerning pairs. Unlike the alphabet, dingbats don’t have to carry specific historic and culturally agreed-upon meanings or work as a combinatorial visual system representing the phonetics in spoken language. Dingbats clear the way for original symbolic expression.

How many elements should I submit for my dingbat font?

To make it as easy as possible for artists and users of our fonts, ArtistFont has set a minimum requirement of 62 glyphs for dingbat font releases. These glyphs map to the upper (26) and lowercase (26) alphabet keys, and the numeral keys (10) as follows:


If you have a specific mapping/sequence in mind, it is essential to make that clear when submitting your artwork or later in consultation with your font designer. Otherwise, the glyphs will be randomly assigned to the keys on the keyboard. You can also include additional elements as alternate glyphs for existing characters in your font or map them to entirely different characters in your font. 

What makes a good dingbat glyph?

Though dingbats are not letters, when considering some of the formal qualities that favor good dingbats, it helps to think of them that way:

  • Design them to work clearly as single-color forms.
  • Make each glyph look different from all the other glyphs in the font.
  • Make each shape simple enough to be reproduced at small scales.

But unlike letters:

  • Dingbats can represent anything from the personal to the universal or be utterly abstract with no particular meaning or phonetic associations.
  • They don’t have to be combinatorial. Each dingbat can stand on its own.
  • There is no definitive or required set to complete.

Yet, consider the power of mapping and usage patterns:

  • Because ArtistFont maps your dingbats to the upper and lowercase alphabets, you may want to capitalize on these conventional sets by creating correspondences between lowercase/uppercase versions of keys or design sequences that track from A–Z, a–z, & 0–9.
  • By releasing your art as a font, it also becomes a tool for expression by others. It may develop new meanings and usages that evolve in unexpected ways. If adopted by enough people, this may create new ways of communicating. Emojis are the fastest-growing “language” in the world right now.
What is a collective typeface family?

A collective typeface is ArtistFont’s concept for a font designed collaboratively with a group of artists with the foundry acting as facilitator, commissioner, and creative and technology partner.

How long does it take to publish my font?

The turnaround time for font creation takes about 5 business days. Release to the ArtistFont store depends on the type of release and whether it is part of a special collective collection release set. Standard releases are scheduled on a monthly basis for all fonts created the prior month.

What are my copyrights as an ArtistFont font artist?

Artists always retain the copyright to the original artwork they submit to ArtistFont to create a font. The fonts created with the artwork in collaboration with ArtistFont fall under collective copyright between the artist and the foundry. Collective fonts involving glyphs made with the artwork of multiple artists also fall under collective copyright. The foundry retains the exclusive right to build and distribute fonts with the submitted artworks.

Can I create derivative works with my own fonts?

As owners of the copyright of their original arts, artists can create derivative works with their own fonts as long as the derived works are not fonts themselves.

What should I avoid in my font submission?

ArtistFont is committed to fostering collaboration and community with creatives of diverse cultural and disciplinary backgrounds. The following actions will constitute grounds for blocking access to our service, removal of posted materials, and non-fulfillment of your font order (or any part of your order):

  • Uploading, posting, ordering, emailing, or otherwise transmitting any content that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, harassing, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, invasive of another’s privacy, or otherwise objectionable;
  • Harming minors in any way, including, but not limited to, content that violates federal and state child pornography laws, child exploitation laws, and laws prohibiting the depiction of minors engaged in sexual conduct;
  • Uploading content to which you do not have a copyright, license, or are otherwise not authorized to utilize; or
  • Uploading content that contains any elements that are legally protected by intellectual property laws or rights of publicity laws and for which you need, but do not have, proper authorization to include within the content.
Can I create or commission a font for private use/licensing with ArtistFont?

Yes, private font releases for limited editions or 1-of-1s are possible. Please contact us to discuss your font idea at hello@artistfont.xyz

Application Deadline July 31, 2022 at Midnight

“Fonts are a defining part of and catalysts for creating culture. For centuries, fonts have been containers of form, mediums of expression, and tools for collaboration. Their very ubiquity is the primary reason artists should not just use but create fonts. Another is their accessibility and fluidity—fonts can be easily shared and used in countless ways.”

Dimitry Saïd Chamy

52 Art + Type Quotes for Inspiration


“The experimental typography which proliferated in the early decades of the twentieth century as an integral and highly visible aspect of modern art and literary movements was as much a theoretical practice as were the manifestos, treatises, and critical texts it was often used to produce.”

Johanna Drucker

“Typographical design should perform optically what the speaker creates through voice and gesture of his thoughts.”

El Lizzitsky

“That’s what I’m interested in: the space in between, the moment of imagining what is possible and yet not knowing what that is.”

Julie Mehretu

“The empty spaces are the most important aspect of a typeface.”

Adrian Frutiger

“Display type is a visual voice. Without reading, it imparts its messages.”

Laura Worthington

“Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”

Bertolt Brecht

“The art world has become an instrument of the rich and powerful. We are fighting to change that.”

Guerrilla Girls

“My world is black and white. I Like straight lines and curves, I am happy in that world.”

Bruno Maag

“Your choice of typeface is as important as what you do with it.”

Bonnie Siegler

“Graphic Design will save the world right after rock and roll does.”

David Carson

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”

Maya Angelou

“There are bad types and good types, and the whole science and art of typography begins after the first category has been set aside.”

Beatrice Warde

“I’m very much a word person, so that’s why typography for me is the obvious extension. It just makes my words visible.”

Erik Spiekermann

“My biggest challenge as a designer is to give voice to a never-ending struggle, to serve the cause by creating images that may push mentalities a few inches forward. I would love to create empowering, collective symbols for women to share and use as a weapon. I am happy to see that more and more young women create their own signs and narrative.”

Teresa Sdralevich

“Of all the achievements of the human mind, the birth of the alphabet is the most momentous.”

Frederic Goudy

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way—things I had no words for.”

Georgia O’Keefe

“Typography needs to be audible. Typography needs to be felt. Typography needs to be experienced.”

Helmut Schmid

“Typography is what language looks like.”

Ellen Lupton

“Typography is two-dimensional architecture, based on experience and imagination, and guided by rules and readability.”

Hermann Zapf

“The silhouette says a lot with very little information, but that’s also what the stereotype does.”

Kara Walker

“Lettering is like clay. Type is like lego.”

Mark Simonson

“Art is the one place we all turn to for solace.”

Carrie Mae Weems

“Type is what meaning looks like.”

Max Philips

“The work you do while you procrastinate is probably the work you should be doing for the rest of your life.”

Jessica Hische

“Good typography, first, makes words readable. At its best, it does something more: it helps express the animating spirit of the ideas behind the words.”

Michael Bierut

“Create dangerously, for people who read dangerously. ... Writing, knowing in part that no matter how trivial your words may seem, someday, somewhere, someone may risk his or her life to read them.”

Edwidge Danticat

“Typography is a hidden tool of manipulation within society.”

Neville Brody

“The first time I drew type, I felt like I was at the bottom of Mount Everest.”

Nina Stössinger

“Geometry can produce legible letters, but art alone makes them beautiful. Art begins where geometry ends, and imparts to letters a character transcending mere measurement.”

Paul Standard

“Words have meaning. Type has spirit. The combination is spectacular.”

Paula Scher

“Type is saying things to us all the time. Typefaces express a mood, an atmosphere. They give words a certain coloring.”

Rick Poynor

“The epiphany for me was that I wasn’t a writer, and I had to do something with these texts. I put them in the streets as posters.”

Jenny Holzer

“Typography is the craft of endowing human language with a durable visual form.”

Robert Bringhurst

“That feeling when you don’t understand what you’re feeling.”

Jessica Walsh

“I discovered that I never really used Helvetica but I like to look at it. I like the VW beetle, too, although I’ve never driven one.”

Stefan Sagmeister

“We have been in a moment of massive change. Of course, it’s going to have a huge effect on design, although it’s not clear precisely what kind of effect it’s going to have. I think clean design is really past for now. Forget it. Right now, we’re looking how to make complexity and differences visible and desirable. I don’t mind chaos.”

Sheila Levrant de Bretteville

“Helvetica is good for typographers who do not know what to say.”

Thomas Bohm

“The familiar shapes of the alphabet, taken down to their elemental form and stripped of their meaning, have always been intriguing to me. Kind of like arranging the DNA of language and looking at it purely as shape and form.”

Susan Skarsgard

“Every page should explode, either because of its staggering absurdity, the enthusiasm of its principles, or its typography.”

Tristan Tzara

“The most popular typefaces are the easiest to read; their popularity has made them disappear from conscious cognition. It becomes impossible to tell if they are easy to read because they are commonly used, or if they are commonly used because they are easy to read.”

Zuzana Licko

“Inspiration is cross-pollinating.”

Marian Bantjes

“One does not master skills. Skills allow one to interpret the world. There is an energy that flows throughout life, and skills help you understand that energy. So, I have no desire to master anything. I wish to experience it with wonder.”

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr.

“I work with pictures and words because they have the ability to determine who we are and who we aren’t.”

Barbara Kruger

“I am trying to make art that relates to the deepest and most mythic concerns of human kind and I believe that, at this moment of history, feminism is humanism.”

Judy Chicago

“Comic Sans—If you love it, you don’t know much about typography. If you hate it, you really don’t know much about typography either.”

Vincent Connare

“You learn for yourself not for others, not to show off, not to put the other one down. Learning is your secret, it is all you have, it is the only thing you can call your own. nobody can take it away…”

Louise Bourgeois

“Whatever I pull out is what we’re gonna make, and build with. And that acceptance of material, and how we find ways of connecting and building based on circumstance, and how we exist in the world. You know, we could be having a lovely day, but then in a second there could be a mass shooting.”

Nick Cave

“Type is a beautiful group of letters, not a group of beautiful letters.”

Matthew Carter

“The letters of the alphabet, the character of a typeface, are building blocks.  Besides being symbols to construct a written language, they can be used to compose any visual impression imaginable.”

Max Kisman

“Every time I have had a problem, I have confronted it with the ax of art.”

Yayoi Kusama

“The games I’m playing have much more to do with using the language of power and the vocabulary of power to construct new sentences. It's about pointing to empire and control and domination and misogyny and all those social ills in the work, but it's not necessarily taking a position. Oftentimes, it's actually embodying it.”

Kehinde Wiley

“I talk about the gods, I am an atheist. But I am an artist too, and therefore a liar. Distrust everything I say. I am telling the truth.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

“Typography should be seen as a living entity; each element integrally related, in harmony with the whole, and essential to the execution of an idea.”

Paul Rand


Transdisciplinary artist and designer Dimitry Saïd Chamy founded ArtistFont with the generous support of an Ellies Creator Award from Oolite Arts.

Oolite Arts


We are deeply grateful for the enthusiastic appreciation, work, and support of the artists, businesses, and organizations helping to launch ArtistFont successfully. If you would like to join them please email Dimitry at hello@artistfont.xyz


Where artists make fonts for type-based collabs.

We are building a digital foundry for artists interested in creating font-based works. Sign-up to get updates on our debut release, ArtistFont Miami 01 featuring dingbat fonts from 26+ artists from South Florida.

First Name*
Last Name
Please fill all the required fields!
Please accept terms and conditions to proceed

Where artists make fonts for type-based collabs.

We are building a digital foundry for artists interested in creating font-based works. Sign-up to get updates on our debut release, ArtistFont Miami 01 featuring dingbat fonts from 26+ artists from South Florida.

First Name*
Last Name
Please fill all the required fields!
Please accept terms and conditions to proceed
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