A Universal Typeface that has crowdsourced the world’s handwriting over the course of 2014 is now available as a downloadable font.
Earlier this year, we told you about Société BIC’s “Universal Typeface” experiment in honour of their iconic Cristal ballpoint pen, of which more than 100 billion have been produced since 1950.
The experiment was created and conceptualised by DDB and put into effect by digital production company MediaMonks. The campaign managed to combine digital penmanship and demographic data from all around the world in a single physical typeface.
Over the year, users have been invited to submit their handwriting on the microsite, which uses Mobile Connect Technology. This allows you to directly write on your smartphones and tablets. To date more than 1.725 million characters by participants from more than 150 countries have been uploaded. Participation has no time limit and new contributions are submitted daily.
The website also features an area in which users can compare their handwriting to the ascertained average, and also to particular groups of users (selected according to criteria such as age, gender and profession). To make all of this possible, a unique algorithm that converts input into typeface results was created.
BIC and DDB Düsseldorf started their quest for the universal typeface in the middle of 2014. Since then, the collected data are continuously being put together.
“We found the idea of a universal typeface so exciting. We used our technical expertise and modern technology to breathe life into this claim, says Dennis May, Creative Managing Director of DDB Düsseldorf.
So far the universal typeface of all participants, just as the specific typefaces sorted according to characteristics, could only be experienced visually, but as of now anyone interested can download these typefaces and actually use them.
“Our handwriting is one of our most personal possessions,” says DDB Düsseldorf creative director, Jan Propach.
“Since the BIC pen is one of the most ubiquitous writing instruments and billions of people use this product, we initially asked: How would a universal typeface look like? The now available typeface finally gives us an answer to this question”.
27 November 2014
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