The Queering typeface translates the “evolving nature of LGBTQIA+ lingo” into emojis

Emulating DIY LGBTQIA+ paraphernalia, Adam Naccarato’s Queering is free to download, with any donations going to Ali Forney LGBTQ+ Center in Harlem.

Date
14 June 2022

“There’s a storied tradition of shorthand in the queer community where language wasn’t always as inclusive as it is now,” Adam Naccarato tells us. For the designer’s most recent project, Queering – a bold display font made with queerness in mind – Adam wanted to translate this legacy while signalling the potential for continued evolution in the queer lexicon. The typeface features a whole range of queer unicode emojis, including phrases like ENBY (shorthand for non-binary) and more pictorial imagery that nod to this change. The emoji set is just one excellent element of the inclusive nature of Queering, as an open-source font that remains free to download for all.

Amidst a political landscape of bans for trans youth in sports and the “Don’t say gay” bill, Adam explains: “It felt very important for me to create something with reverence to my queerness and others.” With Queering, Adam wanted to set the groundwork for a larger conversation about queerness in type while creating a font that could be added to over time “as popular discourse continues”.

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Adam Naccarato: Queering (Copyright © Adam Naccarato, 2022)

Engaged directly with the history of queer activism, the typeface also draws inspiration from ​​LGBTQIA+ paraphernalia, as well as “every corner of the internet”. In particular, Adam draws from queer publications and protest posters from the 70s and 80s to deliver bold, near-patchwork letterforms. While history plays a key role in the project, Adam has updated the protest fonts for today’s generation. “Our generation’s version of a protest poster is an Instagram story in a way; everything’s defined by how we view things through a phone.” Looking at Queering, you’ll often find a trap in the letterforms, or a distinct curve that feels almost out of place – “I think that’s part of the fun,” says Adam. “I think it would be a disservice to create a Queer font that’s too perfect.”

Of course, for a font embracing fun, emojis are a must. “Emojis are my lifeblood — there’s many-a-moment where I think: ‘Oh, this message could have just been the sparkle emoji,’" Adam says. Readers will be happy to know that Queering does indeed feature its own spark emoji and, while it is currently free to download, all donations made will go to the Ali Forney LGBTQ+ Center in Harlem, which provide life-saving housing for queer youth among other services.

GalleryAdam Naccarato: Queering (Copyright © Adam Naccarato, 2022)

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Adam Naccarato: Queering (Copyright © Adam Naccarato, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, she worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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