The National Library of Poland
Polona TYPO
 experience   graphics   play   re-use 

This might well be the most popular app ever created by a Polish cultural institution. Polona Typo, designed by Huncwot Studio, enables its users to get creative with typography.

Thousands of letters were cut out from Polish National Library digital resources – books, maps, posters, manuscripts, press – in order to enable users to create their own inscriptions. Users choose from characters, some of which are up to 600 years old, themselves. They may select the style and background, and may also rotate the letters and check where they were taken from, by clicking relevant links. This game is an easy way to delve into the immense collection of the library – even if it was not the starting point of the fun.

The app was a daring harbinger of Polona’s API (programming interface enabling potential links between external apps and the digital library database). It garnered many glowing press reviews and even more instances of use – as the inscriptions generated using the app may be freely employed (also for commercial purposes).