While there might be plenty of graphic designers out there who are afraid of, say, Comic Sans, we wouldn't say fonts rank among most frightening things in the world. That said, one Finnish newspaper has managed to create a new typeface that's genuinely chilling.
Like many fonts, Climate Crisis Font comes in a series of different weights. But unlike other fonts, these weights correspond with Arctic ice data from 1979 to 2050. Spoiler alert: with every year increase, the font erodes a little. It's certainly a lot more sobering than any of our best free fonts.
Created by the Nordic’s largest newspaper, Helsingin Sanomat (opens in new tab), in collaboration with creative agency TBWA\ Helsinki (opens in new tab), the typeface was designed using data based on satellite images. This makes it, according to a press release, "one of the first data-based fonts ever".
The newspaper has already used the font in articles regarding climate change, and in a series of posters (below). Like all the best print ads, these are truly bold and striking, and they also manage to add some emotional heft to the the typeface invention.
“Our mission is to make complex matters comprehensible,” Tuomas Jääskeläinen, Helsingin Sanomat's art director, said. “These kinds of new methods of journalistic storytelling also complement our recent investments in data journalism. Yet, we don’t just want to keep it to ourselves, which is why we are giving it out for free and hope to see it in use elsewhere as well.” (You can download Climate Crisis Font here.)
Climate Crisis Font is certainly a creative and novel approach to spreading awareness of climate change, and we'd even say there's a bittersweetness to the creation (much like Time Magazine's stunning yet terrifying Climate Change cover last summer). Indeed, there's something strangely beautiful about the gradually eroding typeface – until you remember what it represents. Whether a font can do enough to raise awareness is another question entirely, but we can't fault the execution.
While the creation of bespoke fonts to raise awareness of specific issues is a fairly recent phenomenon, we've seen a few curious inventions over the past few months – including another 'disappearing' font which literally blocks profanity. If you're inspired to create your own typographical treat, our guide to how to make your own font has you covered.