'A Letter to your shrink' is about creating a font based on Sigmund Freud's handwritten letters.
[[ Have you missed the Kickstarter Campaign? You can order the Sigmund Freud Typeface at my website http://haraldgeisler.com/sigmund-freud-typeface/ ]]
When I first saw Freud's century old letters, I was fascinated by the beauty of these historic manuscripts. It made me smile to imagine a person writing his or her shrink a letter set in Freud's handwriting. I started to plan creating a font based on his manuscripts.
The Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna kindly supports this project by providing digital images of Freud's manuscripts . All documents shown are from the collection of the Museum. The Freud Museum London kindly supports the project by providing photographies.
Would you like to use a font that renders Freud's handwriting? Maybe to write a letter to your shrink? Maybe you too are in awe of the beautiful handwriting. Then become a backer (by choosing one of the rewards on the right) and give this project a kickstart.
The Design Process
As a starting point for Sigmund Freud Typeface I selected eight handwritten documents:
This selection of specimen will be an orientation during the design process. They were created between 1883 to 1938 and are of various character such as handwritten scientific papers, personal letters, notes and a telegram.
What is a Font? Fonts are the software around a typeface design. On your computer fonts render text that your are reading (right now in your browser) or typing (i.e. using a word processor or email client).
How can a Font look like handwriting? When I type the word 'look' in a regular font, the two 'o' look the same. Handwriting has a vivid character because one never writes the same letter twice.
To make the Sigmund Freud typeface look vivid, the font will be programmed to produce variations or 'alternates' during writing. Two different 'o' have to be drawn and stored in the font's memory. In the next step the font is programmed‚ to replace the second 'o' with the alternate 'o'.
Every language has letter combinations that occur more often than others. In English (counting the complete text of James Joyce's Ulysses) the top three pairs are 'he' 'th' 'in'. While in German (analyzing Goethe's Faust I) the most found letter pairs are 'ch' 'en' and 'er' (French: 'es' 'le' 'ou', Spanish 'ue' 'de' 'en')
To make the Sigmund Freud font look as handwritten as possible I will include alternates for the most common letter combinations in English, Spanish, German and French as alternates into the font.
More is better! Here I want you to become part of the design process - Back the project with more than $33 and you choose a combination that I will include in the final font file.
- Sigmund Freud Typeface @Home: $5 will get you the digital Journal documenting the creation of the Typeface. Back this Project with $10 or more and you will get the font file ready to use on your computer & the Journal.
- A Letter from Vienna: Pledge $20 and receive the Font with a letter from Vienna set in Sigmund Freud's Typeface. Pledge $25 to add a personal message and make this Font the perfect gift for your shrink.
- Ligature Reward: Pledge $33 and pick a LIGATURE (combination of glyphs) that I will draw into the font. Like the 'oo' in the 'look' example every ligature makes the font look more like handwriting. Also I will recognize and thank you in the credits of the font.
- WORD and SIGNATURE Reward: Pledge $50 to receive a specially handwritten for you "Thank you" card as shown in the video. Also you will get to pick a LIGATURE & WORD (up to 15 letters, can be a name) that will be added to the final font. Pledge $100 to add your whole SIGNATURE (or three names) to the official font file! Also I will recognize and thank you in the credits of the font. (World wide shipping included).
- Sigmund Freud POSTER: Pledge $125 and you will receive everything From the SIGNATURE reward and a Kickstarter exclusive (!will not be sold anywhere else) Poster ($125) signed and numbered showing the Sigmund Freud Typeface. Also I will recognize and thank you in the credits of the font. (World wide shipping included).
CAKE LEVEL BACKER • Let's eat cake for typography!
- THE REWARD IS CAKE: I will invite you to a chat about typography. During this chat I will buy you as much cake as you can eat! Your name will be listed in the credits as CAKE LEVEL BACKER. You will also receive a signed Poster, a handwritten letter sized "Thank you" - send to your home world wide shipping included! Additionally you get to choose a ligature, word and your personal Signature that will be included to the official Font file.
- THE REWARD IS CAKE FROM VIENNA: Pick one out of 7 fantastic viennese cakes (i.e. SACHER CHOCOLATE CAKE, Imperial Cake, the famous pink Demel Torte…) send in a wooden basket to you!! (World wide shipping included). Click here to find a detailed report and overview on Viennese cake in Update#4 of this Project. You will also receive a signed Poster, a handwritten letter sized "Thank you", choose a ligature, word and your personal Signature that will be included to the official Font file. Your name will be listed in the credits as CAKE LEVEL BACKER.
How do other 'handwriting' fonts look like?
I have finished two handwriting fonts. The first one is inspired on Albert Einstein's handwriting.
Einstein Script was about researching how close I can recreate an original. I programed the font software to replace automatically certain letter combinations with alternates while typing. I.e. the letter 't' and the ligature 'th'.
The second font is called 'Conspired Lovers'. The design is based on my own handwriting that I used in Love-Letters that I wrote in the past five years. (The design is available through my website: http://haraldgeisler.com/2012/09/14/conspired-lovers/ )
German Complications and American Patients
Freud (*1856) learned writing in the 19th century. Until 1950 it was custom in all German speaking countries to write in German Script or Kurrent.
Kurrent and cursive (also called Joined-up writing (GB) or running writing(AU)) have one thing in common. Both stem from the latin word 'currere' (to run); they describe handwriting styles that were designed to write the latin alphabet fast.
A lot of Freud's patients came from North America to Vienna (and later became practitioners). He was fluent in English and analyzed his patients from America and England in English.
In my research I came across this exciting example from 1919. Freud writes a letter in German and quotes English; with the change in language he also switches from German script (Kurrent) to Latin script (Cursive).
My aim is to create a readable font with the look of Freud's handwriting. I will keep as much as possible from the style that Freud wrote in. The letters that need adaptation (i.e. the lowercase h) will be changed in carful and playful variations, keeping the spirit of the original movement but with the aim to be readable.
Where will the Font be created?
I have the opportunity to work at a friends apartment in Vienna. This apartment is a 30 minute walk away from Berggasse 19, where Freud lived for over 50 years. (Now home of the Freud Museum)
To work near the Museum will enable me to look at the original Letters during the creation. Also I hope it will be inspiring to view the writing in the rooms where it was written.
How will the Funding be used?
Buying time. Most of the effort will go into drawing the font from scratch and the extension with alternates and ligatures. The more funding I will be able to spend on this, the more beautiful the result will be.
Working in Vienna requires additional transportation cost to move studio equipment back and forth. An amount of funding will be spend on sending out the rewards from Vienna.
Funding will also go into preparing a journal and documentation of the creative work, creating a 'how-to' video - manual on using the fonts features for novice font users.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Every artistic project bears risks. I have finished two comparable projects so I know about the artistic and technical pitfalls to avoid. The research that I already made for this project, assures me that I am capable of completing this project.
Every project is new and brings up unforeseeable risks and challenges both technically and artistically. (For example I've never shipped Chocolate Cakes to the U.S. and I have never worked in Vienna) I guess I wouldn't be an artist in the first place if these risks would scare me. Thank you for your support.
Unfortunately, the Einstein font is not available at the moment. Albert Einstein left his personality rights to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Personality rights include i.e. the name and image of a person. In order to use the name or image of a person in a commercial mater, I have to ask the owner of the rights for permission to use it and make a contract about this usage. Like I did with the manuscripts and photos from the Freud Museum in Vienna and London. At the moment I don't have the rights to do so - but I hope that this will change in the future. I will keep you updated.
The Font will support all Latin based languages so of course support English and German.
Some languages need special characters, i.e. the 'Å' (A Ring) in danish, or the 'Ł' (L Slash) in Polish. Here is the complete list of Languages that I am planning to support in the Sigmund Freud font: Afrikaans, Albanian, Basque, Bosnian, Breton, Catalan, Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Esperanto, Estonian, Faroese, French, Galician, German, Greenlandic, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indonesian, Irish (new orthography), Italian, Latin (basic classical orthography), Latvian, Leonese, Lithuanian , Lower Sorbian, Luxembourgish (basic classical orthography), Malay, Maltese , Manx, Norwegian (Bokmål and Nynorsk), Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Rhaeto-Romanic, Sami, Scottish Gaelic, Serbian Latin, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Turkish, Upper Sorbian, Walloon.
Can't find a language you are looking for? Send me message and I see what I can do to add it.
http://haraldgeisler.com/2012/09/14/conspired-lovers/, is available for download through my website: http://haraldgeisler.com/2012/09/14/conspired-lovers/ (When you scroll down to the bottom of the page click on the button 'add to cart'. Then click on 'view cart' and proceed to check out. After the check out you can download the font immediately.)