A blight-inspired font called “North Philly” that blazed up Twitter last week also lit a fire inside designer Phil Buckley.
The font, made by designer agency Cliff Ross, was part of a batch of 10 typefaces named after Philly areas like Brewerytown, Manayunk. Amid a slew of negative feedback, the North Philly font was taken down.
Buckley then rallied together 11 members from the local design community around an effort called PHLOpenType, a collective that will aim to make fonts that “look to celebrate all facets of life” in Philly neighborhoods and donate all proceeds to nonprofits.
— PHLOpenType (@PHLOpenType) February 23, 2017
“I wanted to make sure that, if you’re going to do a project like that, there should be a lot of care put into it,” said Buckley, a Comcast UX designer who also does work for PHL Design Co.
The project is currently working on a batch of six fonts named after Point Breeze, Mt. Airy, Manyunk, Newbold, Fairhill and Temple. Although the specific causes are still being selected, the typefaces will be made available under a a “Pay What You Can” price model, with proceeds going to the neighborhoods they are designed after. The first batch of fonts, the designer said, are currently being developed.
“It’s a hard time for people trying to give back,” said Buckley. “Hopefully we can make some impact for areas around the city using our skill set.”
Those interested in joining the effort can contact Buckley by emailing phil (at) pbuck.co.
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