The company that helped lead the democratization of type became part of the Monotype family – and the Monotype Libraries – in 2012.

For centuries, type had been the exclusive domain of skilled typographers working large, cumbersome presses. Digital type changed all that, and as one of the first digital type foundries, Bitstream enabled the growth of desktop publishing and the democratization of type. Now anyone could access and use type – and while the early efforts of neophytes were of questionable quality, the same could not be said about Bitstream’s fonts.

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A Historic Moment from Bitstream

When Bitstream first opened its doors in 1981, it became the world’s first independent digital type foundry. The company’s founders – including Mike Parker, Matthew Carter and Cherie Cone – were former Linotype employees who shared a vision of digital type untied to any particular device or platform. They believed that proprietary typesetting equipment and exclusive fonts would soon become a thing of the past. And they were right.