Font Aid VIII to Generate Aid for Nepal

The Font Aid project was conceived by Swedish type designer Claes Källarsson, with 25 type designers participating in the creation of a font that generated proceeds going to UNICEF to help war and disaster refugees. In 2001, the Society of Typographic Aficionados (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 more than 20 countries. In 2005, 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 Fleurons of Hope typeface.

Font Aid IV consisted of a collection composed of ampersands supplied by almost 400 designers and was supplied in OpenType format. All proceeds from the sale went to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, to help with their relief efforts in Haiti. Font Aid V: Made For Japan was a collaborative project uniting the typographic and design communities with a goal of raising funds to expedite relief efforts after the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan. October 2012 saw the launch of Font Aid VI, which united the typographic and design communities to raise funds for Red Cross relief efforts after the events of Hurricane Sandy. Font Aid VII: The Philippines was built around creating a collaborative typeface for Typhoon Haiyan relief. The project created a typeface consisting of images based on the eight-rayed sun from the Philippine flag. According to the organizers, "For the Philippine people, it embodies their unity, freedom, democracy, and sovereignty — each ray of the sun representing one of the eight provinces involved in the country’s 1896 revolution against Spain. More commonly, the sun also symbolizes hope, light, the universal spirit, rebirth, and the beginning of a brand new day."

Which brings us to Font Aid VIII, which is devoted to providing relief related to the April and May earthquakes that have caused such extensive damage in Nepal. Typeface designers, graphic designers and illustrators are thus invited to contribute artwork for the creation of a collaborative font consisting entirely of characters made up of creative interpretations of the ancient Om symbol. This will be accompanied by the publication of Building Letters Himalaya, with the proceeds of the sale of both it and the font going entirely to Shangrila Home, a shelter for street children in Nepal.

Vector artwork submissions for the font are currently being accepted, with the deadline being June 21, 2015. More information is available on The Society for Typographic Aficiionados site.