Digital typeface, 2020
Driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and amplified by the internet, many people find a shared calm (or anger) in increasingly absurd conspiracy narratives. PARANOIA SANS is born out of a wish to understand the various „conspiracy dialects”, and create a dictionary of their terminology. There are well-known conspiratorial terms: the „moon landing“ or „9/11“, but also less obvious ones.
This paranoid dictionary is not published as-is, but embedded in a digital artefact: A digital font anybody can install. The dictionary is only revealed by using the font, with conspiratorial terms being automatically redacted as they are typed.
A big part of conspiracy theories is the idea that (their) truth is being suppressed or censored by the people/organisations secretly in power. Badly photo-copied papers with words redacted in black markers are still common imaginary. PARANOIA SANS plays to the paranoia of conspiracy believers and adapts the style of redacted papers for the digital age.
A font is _the_ ubiquitous piece of design/design system that people use every day in digital communication and writing, mostly without much consideration of its visual impact.
I wanted to create a tool that is as absurd as conspiracy myths themselves: a font that redacts itself.
Nothing is innocent, not even a typeface.