Common Sans

There is little novelty left in acknowledging the impact and relevance with which the creative industries can address the world and current affairs in a unique and effective manner.

From political and human rights activist Ai Wei-Wei with his life’s work of contemporary and architectural exhibits addressing China’s corruption and falsified democracy, to the unidentified photographer of a hooded detainee in US custody during the Iraq war that conveyed the reality of prisoner abuse at the hands of US troops. In today’s reality of current affairs, the creative industries hold a powerful position in communicating, sometimes exposing and often reframing/recontextualising the honest and untampered occurrences in the world around us.

Employing design and typography to highlight the use and misuse of language surrounding the current global migrant crisis, Swedish design firm Essen International have partnered with water treatment organisation Solvatten to create Common Sans: a typeface that autocorrects the word ‘refugee’ to the word ‘human’ whenever the former is scribed on a user’s device. With over one million migrants estimated to have travelled to the UK by sea alone this year, Common Sans is a boldly simple challenge to one’s own thoughts and beliefs around the migrant crisis, reminding us that whilst news outlets and political agendas shroud the issues, it becomes all too easy to forget that the crux of the conversation is people and human life. The font is delivered for download with a poignant accompanying note:

“Being a refugee is a temporary status, being a human is permanent. Humans are amazing. A stamp on their passport should not let us believe otherwise.”

A welcomed reminder that working with depth, meaning and movement can communicate a thought or idea far more eloquently than a thousand conversations. You can download Common Sans and support both organisations in “making the world at least a little bit better” by donating to their chosen good causes here.