We love bringing attention to digital technology being used for social change and we think it's crucial that you choose the right web font for your charity website. But what about typography: is it being used innovatively for a good cause? From Gutenburg's printing press to Google fonts, we’ve come a long way. The world of typography is also a graphic designer's stage. My own attempts at custom-made typography have given me a new appreciation for the art and science behind something we consume every day, mostly without a second thought.
At its core, typography is used as a tool to communicate information. So what could be better than the creation of custom type to vocalise important issues? Here are 3 typographic projects turning type into a tool for change:
Through engagement and participation the Arrels Foundation used custom typography as a tool to support the homeless, cutting out the need for a traditional fundraising campaign. Homeless Fonts takes the handwriting of individuals supported by Arrels, and creates unique fonts from their handwriting. These fonts are then sold on to brands with all profits going to the 1400 people supported by the Arrels Foundation.
There are 10 volunteer designers currently working on digitising the Homeless Fonts and each font takes about 2.5 months each to develop. Shows you just how much work is involved! Good for them!
2. Global Illiteracy
World Heavyweight Champion Wladimir Klitschko has his eye on knocking out global illiteracy amongst children. The champ gave his right hand to the job and punched out the alphabet on 26 separate canvasses! Each of his custom crafted letters was then auctioned off as separate pieces of artwork. The campaign has so far raised over €136,000 and is working in partnership with the ‘Heart for Children’ charity. Plus the font is completely free and available for download.
There has been much debate over printing, ink and the sustainability issue. Ink, oil, forests - there are a lot of natural resources at stake. Printing double side and using your printer's ink-saving options, we hope?! Now granted, this project is not for charity purposes but it does hopefully bring awareness to the issue. Ryman who? The Ryman Eco font claims to be "the world’s most beautiful sustainable font”. It also claims to use 30% less ink than Arial, Times New Roman, Georgia and Verdana.
If it's not quite your type, consider switching to Garamond. One young teen from Pittsburgh discovered his school could save 25% on ink consumption from this small change.