Stephen, a great point. Brad and I actually spent some time talking about it.
We wanted the evaluation to happen mostly where the fonts ultimately reside: on screens. Specifically, small screens. We had many sessions where we invited anyone to come and find fonts, and we previewed them as pixels as quickly as we could, plugging them into Fontificator and fine-tuning so we could start reading. (It’s funny how often little adjustments to letter spacing and line height can completely change how you feel about a typeface!) Also, very early on, we started putting them into our internal versions of the site and apps just so we could see them as others eventually would see them.
It was tons of fun:
As for the physical space, we thought about it more as a place for connection, for others to stop by and just chat fonts. In that context names seemed most important (“what was that font we saw on the site yesterday?”). But the glyphs were there also. We had this little tradition of anyone being free to highlight the glyphs that they either liked or hated in any printed fonts.
Inevitably, a day later, someone else would ask: is it highlighted because it was great or because it was horrible?
And we would often have no idea.