Tuesday February 16, 2021 By David Quintanilla
Variable Font Reveals The Full Horror of The Climate Crisis

Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat has developed a variable font, that’s designed to make the consequences of human-driven local weather change tangible in a easy graphical type.

Whereas most kind designers use variable font strategies to embed a spread of weights in a single font file, the workforce — lead by Helsingin Sanomat’s artwork director Tuomas Jääskeläinen, and typographer Eino Korkala — used the approach to “soften” the typeface.

Within the design course of, we tried out numerous letter shapes and kinds, solely to search out that the majority of them visualized the catastrophe proper within the earliest phases of the transformation. That’s one thing we wished to keep away from as a result of not like a world pandemic, local weather change is a disaster that sneaks up on us.

— Tuomas Jääskeläinen

The default typeface represents the quantity of Arctic sea ice in 1979 (when data started). It’s a moderately stunning, chiseled, chunky sans-serif, with cut-aways that open up counters to offer it a contemporary enchantment. As you progress by means of the years in the direction of 2050 the shapes seem to soften away, to the purpose that they’re barely legible.

Set the size to 2021 and also you’ll see an already dramatic lack of Arctic sea ice, and the ensuing desalination of the ocean.

As miserable as these outlines are, they aren’t an estimate. The typeface’s outlines exactly match actual knowledge — there was an surprising uptick in Arctic sea ice in 2000, and that’s mirrored within the font.

The historic knowledge is taken from the NSIDC (The US Nationwide Snow and Ice Knowledge Middle) and the predictive knowledge comes from the IPCC (The Intergovernmental Panel on Local weather Change).

We hope that utilizing the font helps folks see the urgency of local weather change in a extra tangible type – it’s a name for motion.

— Tuomas Jääskeläinen

You may download the font for free, for private or business work.

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