Friday, July 25, 2003

Fonts of Knowledge

Last night, I read Alex Irvine's short story "Reformation" in Live Without a Net. In it, a young man creates an intelligent character set that works its way through the Net. "Brethren is the first language to speak to the totality of the Virt." Rooted in an Islam and the Brethren of Purity, the typeface takes over other font sets, converting all online -- and offline -- communication to esoteric spirituality. Living words.

Yesterday in the New York Times, then, there was an article about a living typeface that changes its form based on ambient information around it. In one application, the letters and numbers on public weather report displays -- time, temperature -- change their form based on what kind of weather front is moving in.

Designed by the Dutch firm LettError, the font set is also fully interactive. By changing the degree to which various characteristics are represented, you can experiment with your own letter forms. Interesting stuff!

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