Font Aid IV: A Call to Action

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Font Aid IV: A Call to Action

On Tuesday, January 12, 2010, a catastrophic earthquake occurred approximately 16 miles (25km) west of Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. The earthquake caused major damage to Port-au-Prince and the surrounding area. The International Red Cross estimates that three million people were affected by the quake, with as many as one million Haitians left homeless. Casualty estimates continue to climb. Due to the widespread devastation and damage, vital infrastructure necessary to respond to the disaster has been severely damaged or destroyed. A spokeswoman from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs called this the worst disaster the UN has ever confronted.

Font Aid IV: Coming Together, a Collaborative Typeface

The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) is announcing the launch of Font Aid IV, a project uniting the typographic and design communities in raising funds to expedite relief efforts in Haiti. Everyone is encouraged to help the cause by spreading the word to friends and colleagues.

Type designers, graphic designers and other artists from around the world are invited to contribute artwork to be included in a typeface created exclusively for the Font Aid IV effort. The theme of Font Aid IV is "Coming Together" which we will represented though a font consisting entirely of ampersands. Coming Together will be made available for sale, with all proceeds going to Doctors Without Borders. SOTA, a US-based non-profit, is acting as a non-partisan organizing body to help coordinate the effort and ensure all funds are distributed appropriately.

To participate: Submit a black and white "ampersand" icon for the benefit font. It should be a vector image file, not a bitmap. Keep it simple, not too crazy. Send it in EPS format to fontaid@typesociety.org by 01/29/10.

Font Aid: a Brief History

Swedish type designer Claes Källarsson conceived of the initial Font Aid project in 1999. More than 25 type designers participated in designing a collaborative font, with proceeds going to UNICEF to help war and disaster refugees. In 2001, SOTA became involved when Stuart Sandler was inspired by Källarsson's efforts and initiated Font Aid II. This second collaborative charitable typeface was created to benefit the victims of the September 11 tragedies in the US. The font was made up of almost 100 question mark glyphs contributed by designers from over 20 countries. In 2005, The Society of Typographic Aficionados (SOTA) and Building Letters joined forces in Font Aid III to unite the typographic and design communities in raising funds to expedite relief efforts in countries affected by the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunamis. More than 220 designers worldwide submitted over 400 glyphs for the collaborative typeface. With your support, Font Aid can continue its efforts to assist others in dire need of aid.

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