Jazlyn Fung’s charming typeface Happy Fat Font is a manifesto for body positivity

Inspired by the Melbourne-based designer’s “growing belly” over the first lockdown, the design is endearing, lighthearted and full of fun.

Date
12 April 2022

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“I often design my type with my experience or with a story in mind”, begins the designer Jazlyn Fung, “that will naturally draw the design to be a bit different, or experimental in direction”. And, as it happens, over the first worldwide lockdown, this guiding experience happened to be Jazlyn’s “growing belly”.

It was this bodily change that inspired the pleasingly rounded, animated and charming typeface Happy Fat Font, which has won over our hearts here at It’s Nice That. Wanting to create something that was imbued with “lightness and happiness” during such a testing time, the designer purposefully replaced gaps within the letters with smiling faces. At the design’s core – it’s no surprise to hear – is the desire to cheer up the people closest to Jazlyn, “at that time I just wanted to create something silly but positive for my friends”. Now reflecting on the typeface, which has flourished into a full set of perfectly corresponding glyphs, the designer recognises that “it is funny that people are now using the shape of my belly in creating messages…”

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Jazlyn Fung: Happy Fat Font (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

It was also only throughout the various lockdowns that Jazlyn began to fully immerse herself in the world of type design. Originally from Hong Kong, Jazlyn worked in environment graphics and branding design prior to her move to Australia, where she developed skills in designing logs, symbols and pictograms. Moving to Melbourne at the end of 2019, Jazlyn quickly found herself locked down in an entirely new city. Trapped at home and on the lookout for distraction, it was then that Jazlyn began to experiment with typefaces. “In the beginning, I posted them online to share with my friends in Hong Kong”, she tells us. Before long, Jazlyn found herself receiving positive feedback from people all around the world. “It was interesting that the lockdown helped me connect to so many people for the first time”, she reminisces, “it really encouraged me to keep going with type design and it’s how I became an independent type designer.”

Recently, the designer tells us, she has been particularly inspired by vintage objects, like lampshades, glassware and stools, “not just because of aesthetics, crafting details are fascinating, and the story behind each piece is inspiring”. This ability to find inspiration in unusual places is apparent in her typeface, Posey, a current work in progress. The work is inspired by the movement of floating paper, how synonymous it is with dancing and the band Flyte, after Jazlyn was moved by one of their songs – “the song was heartbreaking but their live performance was inspiring”. And, with its gentle curves and its long composition, Posey is brimming with elegant movement and emotion. With such an ability to craft typefaces imbued with meaning and feeling, we can’t wait to see what Jazlyn produces next.

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Jazlyn Fung: Happy Fat Font (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Happy Fat Font (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Posey (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2022)

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Jazlyn Fung: Posey (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2022)

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Jazlyn Fung: Blare (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Limpid (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Limpid (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Limpid (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Avior (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Avior (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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Jazlyn Fung: Happy Fat Font (Copyright © Jazlyn Fung, 2020)

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About the Author

Olivia Hingley

Olivia joined the It’s Nice That team as an editorial assistant in November 2021. A graduate of the University of Edinburgh with a degree in English literature and history, she’s particularly interested in illustration, photography, ceramic design and platforming creativity from the north of England.

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