Typefaces associated with hate

Racism has been an issue all around the globe for centuries, and is still alive and well even today in 2016. Angela Riechers has written a blog about designers who have designed a typeface that fights racism. A semester and a half ago I had an assignment to combine two typefaces to make a new one. It was an interesting assignment and I had a lot of fun with it, so I can relate to this blog. The creator of this typeface, Vito Bica wanted to make a statement against racism, specifically anti-Semitism. Bica started following different people to get his influence for the typeface. Bica’s fonts influence a lot of famous symbols used during WWI and WWII, mostly by Hitler and the Nazi’s. Bica thinks that his typeface will be positive and help with the anti-hate movement. Steve Heller, author of Iron Fists: Branding the 20th Century Totalitarian State, disagrees with Bica stating “The problem with fighting a war against war or designing a typeface against racism or prejudice, at least in this case, is that the same images and symbols the Nazis usurped are used. The Runes were not originally anti-Semitic. The swastika, at one time, had positive implications. But add red and black and other aggressive characteristics and the meaning is compromised… the letters remain tied to Nazism.” I strongly agree with this quote. Similar situations still live on today. Society will associate the typeface with what they saw it in first and foremost. Sadly Bica’s typeface will forever be associated with WWI and WWII.

Matthew Rabarsky

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