Fontstand is a new service + Mac OS X app that introduces a new way to license desktop fonts. Even though 99% of my work is web-based, Fontstand immediately appeals to me.
Too many times have I purchased a font, used it for a little while, and realized it’s not working. Testing this way is laborious and expensive. Fontstand has a “Try free for 1 hour” option, which will be a godsend. I tested it out, and just like Typekit’s desktop syncing, they automatically populate the font options in your app. No activation or file management required.
Naturally, I’d love for something like this to extend to webfonts. Even just being able to filter by fonts with a webfont option would be a huge win for my workflow.
Unless I’m mistaken, Fontstand isn’t meant to replace font management software like Font Explorer (yet). It’s sorta like the store side of iTunes (you can’t import/manage fonts you own). That’s fine by me. Fontstand is a great way to find fonts, test them out, and pay a fair price for what you use—which, as I’ve said before, is important. With 21+ foundries on board so far I think it’s safe to say the licensing model has a fair level of support within the type community. It’s going to be fun to watch Fontstand evolve.