Queer Fonts

Queer Fonts aims to push at the very boundaries of what can be considered type. If a series of signs cannot be read or recognised as letters, can it even be called a font? This project answers Yes. As we have seen, letterforms which were once legible are unrecognisable to modern readers, and characters which were once unreadable, can become legible in a matter years or even hours. However deeply embedded the convention is, legibility is not a pre-requisite for a typeface.

“That’s a hibiscus, isn’t it, Aunty?” Jaja asked, staring at a plant close to the barbed wire fencing.

“I didn’t know there were purple hibiscuses.”

Aunty Ifeoma laughed and touched the flower, colored a deep shade of purple that was almost blue.

“Everybody has that reaction the first time.”

The Typeface: Queery

Taking its inspiration from queer theory, Queery is ambiguous, queer, defiant, subversive, and resistant to both categorisation and legibility. It aims to disrupt the reading process at the level of letterforms themselves and thus to challenge both designers and readers who engage with it to see things differently.

If deep-rooted concepts like sex, gender and sexual attraction are up for debate – and queer theory shows us they are – then surely the conventions and boundaries surrounding type design are also open to disruption. A queer approach seeks to show convention for the construct it is and highlight the restrictions which necessarily accompany it. It asks ‘Why?’ of established norms and ‘Why not?’ of suggestions outside of these. The goal of Queer Fonts is to challenge the conventions of type design with no regard for utility or function, or for legibility in the conventional sense – indeed, to challenge the very concept of legibility. Queer Fonts rejects the dominance of the market in the design process: Queery's potential usefulness and commercial value are irrelevant.

New Letterforms

Queer Fonts posits the possibility of four new characters:

And new letter combinations:

Unconventional and Unnecessary Ligatures

Queery contains ligatures which no-one asked for.

I don't owe you legibility.

I don't owe you legibility.

I don't owe you legibility.

I don't owe you legibility.

The Fonts






Viewing this site on a phone? Click here to play with the typeface!