Ooh, this is awesome. Activists have made a free font called Gerry that is made from the shapes of gerrymandered congressional districts. They encourage you to use it to write your representative.
The Next Web:
The font’s creators, Ben Doessel and James Lee, made it to raise awareness and provide a method for disenfranchised voters to protest partisan gerrymandering. The duo, in a press release provided to the media, stated:
"After seeing how janky our Illinois 4th district had become, we became interested in this issue. We noticed our district’s vague, but shaky U-shape, then after seeing other letters on the map, the idea hit us, let’s create a typeface so our districts can become digital graffiti that voters and politicians can’t ignore."
For those unfamiliar with gerrymandering, it’s the process by which US voting districts use increasingly nonsensical borders to disenfranchise voters and limit who they can vote for by party lines instead of geography.
screenshot via UglyGerry.com Read the rest
They say to create solutions for the problems you have and that's just what graphic designer Christian Boer did. He has dyslexia and, for his graduation project a few years back, he created a font that makes reading easier for people with dyslexia. According to his site, people with dyslexia often have difficulties reading because of certain "common reading errors" including "swapping, mirroring, changing, turning and melting letters together." Boer's Dyslexie Font is a typeface with uniquely-shaped letters that remove these common reading errors.
...research suggests that it’s effective (though some disagree) and also because Boer has made the font available for free. Many educators and businesses already make use of Dyslexie. For instance, Project Literacy integrated the typeface into its logo.
Recalling an anecdote from one of his design clients, Boer notes, “They were creating an animated commercial and hired a dyslexic voice-over artist to narrate it. He wanted to be able to read the script fast enough to match the video’s pace, so he asked them to lay it out in Dyslexie first.”
For many... individuals and families who have used Dyslexie, the results are transformative. One mom emailed Boer to say that being able to read this font has encouraged her son to dream big.
“He is looking forward to the possibility to become an engineer, now that this is available for him,” she wrote.
Dyslexie can be downloaded to use in programs and documents. It is also available as a browser extension for Chrome. Read the rest
36 Days of Type is a long-running collaborative design project where different artists render letters and numbers in a unique style. This year's entries are as delightful as always. Read the rest
Braille Neue is a dual typeface designed by Kosuke Takahashi that overlays Braille and English into one simple font. For sighted people who do not currently know Braille, it's also a great mnemonic for learning Braille characters. Read the rest
IBM Plex is the company's first bespoke typeface. They put together a behind-the-scenes look at how and why the creative team developed this as an open-source type. Read the rest
Paul McNeil just published his comprehensive typographical overview, The Visual History of Type. To celebrate, he also published a list of his six favorite faces for It's Nice That, starting with the first compact italic:
The Aldine Italic / Griffo’s Italic / 1501
Few typefaces have had as great an influence on Western culture as Francesco Griffo’s Italic. At the end of the 15th century, when most books were large and heavy, Aldus Manutius commissioned Griffo to cut this compact, inclined letterform. Easily legible at small sizes, the Aldine Italic permitted the production of small, affordable, portable books suited to the requirements of an educated, mobile class of literate individuals. Over the next three centuries, the practice of publishing changed everything. By allowing texts to be reliably reproduced and disseminated in an almost limitless time frame, it triggered new ideas that profoundly challenged all forms of institutional control, leading to dramatic religious reforms, radical socio-political changes, and to the scientific worldview that initiated the modern era.
• The Visual History of Type (via It's Nice That)
Image via ilovetypography.com Read the rest
Design firm Dorothy created an alphabet made up entirely of letters from classic rock band logos. I did OK on this one, but the alternative rock one kicked my butt: Read the rest
Behold Library Hand, a font designed specifically for librarians without typewriters who created cards for card catalogs. What's cool is the variation within the guidelines: Read the rest
Typeroom looks back at ITC Benguiat, the font that so embodied its time that it's now canonical for late 1970s to early 1980s. Turns out its designer and namesake Ed Benguiat was motivated by a potential big payoff:
Inspired by Times New Roman and Bodoni, “he wanted to create a design that was pretty and readable in order to garner as much commission and licensing fees as possible. Back then, it was much harder to access different fonts so there was a larger incentive to have a typeface take off”.
• How Ed Benguiat’s vintage font became the most hyped of the year (h/t Calpernia Addams) Read the rest
Aravindan Thirunavukarasu urinated on a wall and then made a font out of the forms. Read the rest