You can help Bic create the universal typeface

Bic is trying to compile a universal typeface, averaged from the handwriting of lots of people, and it needs your help.

We love free fonts and handwriting fonts around here, and we especially love interesting experimental design projects, so this is right up our street. Over at the Universal Typeface Experiment, Bic is building a crowdsourced font created from thousands of user-submitted letters. Pay a visit and you can see what the latest version looks like and browse through the letters already added, and it's easy to add your own weight to it.

Contribute to the Universal Typeface by drawing letters on your phone

Simply hit the Contribute link and you're given a three-digit code and a link to open on the touch device of your choosing. Tap the code into the mobile site and you're presented with a simple interface that enables you to draw each letter of the alphabet, and every letter you draw is immediately shown in the page on your desktop. Pro tip: if you have a stylus, use that; the results will be more like your regular handwriting than you'll get if you just use a fingertip.

How do your letters compare with the average?

Once you're done, the site crunches the data from your letterforms and adjusts the Universal Typeface to reflect your input. If you're a data fiend you can also explore the typeface and see, from over 200,000 letters collected so far, what individual fonts that reflect gender, age, country, handedness and industry would look like. In short: pretty much the same.

Don't mention Comic Sans. We just did, but we think we got away with it

Strictly speaking it's not a proper font, seeing as it's only made out of capital letters, and it's more of an average handwriting font than a universal typeface. It's a fun experiment, though, and you'll be able to download the finished font set once the experiment ends, sometime in August.

[via HUH]

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jim McCauley is a writer, editor and occasional podcaster, and is available for space parties.