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This Customised Font Allows News Outlets to Shine a Light on Imprisoned Journalists


As the number of journalists imprisoned around the world reaches record highs, 180 Amsterdam's The Erased is a custom font family that uses the power of typography to highlight the restriction of press freedom

This Customised Font Allows News Outlets to Shine a Light on Imprisoned Journalists

More journalists are disappearing around the world than ever before. Last year alone, 363 journalists were imprisoned, a new global high up 20% on the previous year. A number that’s three times higher than in 2000. And these are only the ones being reported.

It’s a problem that is largely invisible. Because we can’t read what is never published.

180 Amsterdam has partnered with Free Press Unlimited, an international press freedom organisation, to create a campaign to draw attention to the danger many journalists are in by just doing their job. 

The Erased Font is designed to make the invisible problem of censorship visible, by erasing one word for every journalist imprisoned. The font, created for news outlets and journalists to download and use in place of their standard font, utilises ‘ligatures’, a technical feature in typography, in a creative way to automatically censor words when the font is selected. Each erased word is connected to real imprisoned journalists and represents the topics they reported on. 

To ensure the journalists’ safety, their names are not published; only the country that imprisoned them. As the number of imprisoned journalists grows dramatically year on year, the font will be updated yearly to visualise the increasing attack on press freedom.

The campaign launches 3rd of May on World Press Freedom day as a collaborative approach between a number of news organisations around the world, from the USA, Syria to Pakistan. One of the publications that is adopting the font today is the independent The Moscow Times. All committing to swapping their standard font for the Erased font. All united behind the same cause to create much-needed public exposure for such a globally important issue. 

Pol Hoenderboom, ECD at 180 Amsterdam said, “Every journalist in prison is a lost perspective on the truth. The Erased font is designed to make sure that their stories are not lost, and their perspectives are not erased. We smartly used the power of ligatures to erase 363 words. Each word is linked to the topic the imprisoned journalist wrote about.”

180 partnered with tech company Wonderland to build the technology that leverages open-source platform GitHub to enable everyone to easily implement the Erased font. With the newly developed toggle, users can seamlessly update and integrate the font into their website, without manual downloads. Jeena van der Heul, creative director of innovation and platforms at 180 Amsterdam, said ‘This innovation helps us to allow users to spread our message. We are hugely proud of offering this open-source solution that makes it accessible for anyone, including news organisations and bloggers, to raise awareness about censorship around the world.’

Marieke Le Poole, head of marketing communication at Fress Press Unlimited added, “The disappearance and imprisonment of journalists around the world is an ever-increasing problem, one which we are determined to highlight. Partnering with 180 on a widely adoptable font invites every news outlet around the world to lend their voice to those currently unable to use theirs.”

The website features interviews and stories of journalists who are risking imprisonment in order to uncover the truth. By visiting this website, people can learn more about the important work being done by journalists and take action to support their efforts. Additionally, the website provides instructions on how to install and use the Erased font. A powerful tool in spreading awareness about censorship around the world.

This campaign has been created in collaboration with brand and digital design studio Wonderland. The joint effort has been instrumental in shaping the campaign and ensuring its success. 


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Corporate, Social and PSAs, Awareness

180 Amsterdam, Wed, 03 May 2023 10:30:42 GMT