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Greta Thunberg’s protest placard inspires new downloadable typeface – the Greta Grotesk

"When nothing goes right, go left."
Greta Thunberg’s protest placard inspires new downloadable typeface – the Greta Grotesk Posted on October 1, 2019
"When nothing goes right, go left."

Greta Thunberg, the tenacious 16-year old climate activist, has been in the news this past year. Her original one-person innocuous strike in front of her own Parliament in Sweden in August last year has become a global movement to fight climate change. Millions around the world now look to her as the icon of hope for the very planet itself.

Sitting at the gates of Parliament, she was accompanied by a sign, in Swedish of course, which said simply: “skolstrejk for klimatet” (school strike for climate). The protest sign was in her unique, distinctive handwriting, and has become recognisable all over the world, as photos of her protest circulated online and picked up by the mass media.

Now, her handwriting is a typeface which you can download and use, thanks to Tal Shub, the former creative director designer of SVA Design. Shub worked with his creative team at Uno, a climate-focused design company.

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After some research and design to harmonise the form of the alphabets, the result – Greta Grotesk.

The typeface is an all-cap one, with a limited set of numbers and special characters, besides the 26-letters of the alphabet.

“From the very first moment of seeing her sign, I was really impressed by the bold design and clarity of the message,” says Shub. “It seemed only right to make the letters from the powerful words that initiated this movement to be available to everyone.”

Shub explained the process of creating a complete set of the alphabets based on Greta’s handwriting:

“A pretty common approach to drawing a new typeface is first defining the lowercase n, i and o characters because they provide the straight, round and dot shapes that can then be extrapolated into other letterforms,” the designer says. “So much of what we did was just that—finding common forms and borrowing parts from the limited characters Greta had drawn.”

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He added:

“Our intention wasn’t to create the most beautiful font out there, but to stay true to the imperfect, yet bold letters,” Shub says. “Greta Grotesk is what you’d call a ‘decorative font,’ meaning you shouldn’t set your next corporate document in it—but it’s perfect if you want to make your message loud and clear in a poster.”

Well, now you have the perfect, iconic font for your next protest placard. And Greta Thunberg will live on in history, as a font. 

Unless we manage to save the earth from human self-annihilation, however, it will all be for nothing.

Let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

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"When nothing goes right, go left."