Speaking from the point of view of past-Liam from a fortnight ago, I’m really looking forward for this month. I’ve got a Fall Out Boy concert coming up in Manchester on the ninth and Early-Access for Star Wars The Old Republic: Knights of the Fallen Empire starts on the twentieth. Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns expansion is released too. I think there’s that one thing with World of Warcraft coming up this year too, but IDGAF about that.
Of course, speaking retrospectively as someone whose been ill all week and experiencing acute PTSD from the lack of bacon and cholesterol in his diet (they took the nice stuff off the college menus), I’m done with this month.
So the most recent brief was to do with Migration and it was one of those things that I didn’t want to touch with a fifty-foot pole just because of all of its political, humanitarian sub-context. The issue with this is that I’m an unemployed twenty-year old with nothing to offer or give, and humanitarian views don’t count for shit when politics and the economy is involved. There’s something to be said about a defeatist crutch limiting my ability to respond to something as important as this but… well, I can’t change anything and I don’t have the ability to give a passionate emotional response to that particular sub-topic of migration so I should leave it to someone who can communicate a powerful enough message.
So, what did I do? I made a new font and explored the relationship between data and print. I’ll be the first to admit that this isn’t the most exciting use of the topic, but I’ll never refer to it as “just” something either; I don’t tend to produce work without a valid thought process or anarchist experimentality – there’s always a reason for a piece of work, basically, even if it’s me wanting to try out a new thing.
The font has two names, just because there’s two final variants of it – Keanu_Migration and NeoBinary. They’re both named after Keanu Reeves and his role in The Matrix, just because of the whole data/binary theme I have going on. The starting point for the fonts was looking at the form of the number “0” and finding a way to adapt it into the rest of the alphabet, keeping a pattern and keeping all the letters confined in the same, symmetrical height/width area. I went for a square-rectangular shape for all the forms, the digital displays you’d see on clocks in mind.
The first iteration of this font I created without numbers – Keanu_Migration (We’ll call it K.M. for short). I made the decision that all the numbers and symbols would alternate between 1s and 0s. As a necessity for some letters (and to not have to use the same letter form for a number) I had to add a vertical line through the middle, as well as a second criss-crossing horizontal line to be able to create the “x.” Originally I didn’t plan to make numbers but, after seeing this and having time on my hands I decided to go back and alter the font, so the second font I designed letters for and made bolder retrospectively. I actually had to entirely re-create my “g” so I could use it’s form to make a “9” instead.
I used a website called myfontlab to download a png template to make the typefaces into usable fonts, the only drawback being that it takes away from their sharpness. I’ll buy and install an actual program sometime.
A downloadable/usable version is available if you contact me personally, but I’ve still put the two templates up above for people to use themselves.
Have fun, kids. Don’t run with scissors.
-L.A. (Liam Morgan)