This font erases one word for every journalist imprisoned in 2022

The Erased – designed for online publications and blogs – allows readers to see the censored topics reported on by imprisoned journalists.

4 May 2023

In 2022, 363 journalists were imprisoned globally; a number that has increased by 296 per cent since 2000. This number still remains an estimation, as many cases go unreported. “It’s a problem that is largely invisible. Because we can’t read what is never published,” the creative agency 180 Amsterdam explains. The Erased font is designed to draw attention to the issue. The typeface uses ligatures to hide words which relate to topics that imprisoned journalists have reported on. A total of 363 words are hidden within the typeface, one for each journalist imprisoned in 2022.

180 Amsterdam joined with international press freedom organisation Free Press Unlimited and tech company Wonderland on the project. The idea is to encourage news publications to adopt the font instead of their standard typeface, connecting readers to the work of imprisoned journalists; the name’s of the journalists themselves remain unpublished to ensure their safety, says 180 Amsterdam.

The campaign launched on World Press Freedom day (3 May) as a collaboration between several news outlets across the world. 180 used the open-source platform GitHub to allow journalists to easily implement the font without manual downloads. Erased will be updated yearly to reflect the growing number of journalists silenced.

Pol Hoenderboom, ECD at 180 Amsterdam, states: “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.” You can read more about the campaign and download the Erased font here.

Gallery180 Amsterdam / Free Press Unlimited / Wonderland: Erased (Copyright © 180 Amsterdam, 2023)

180 Amsterdam / Free Press Unlimited / Wonderland: Erased

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180 Amsterdam / Free Press Unlimited / Wonderland: Erased (Copyright © 180 Amsterdam, 2023)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. In January 2023, they became associate editor, predominantly working on partnership projects and contributing long-form pieces to It’s Nice That. Contact them about potential partnerships or story leads.

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