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I miss the LovEvolution Love Parade, a Fall event that used to bounce through the streets of San Francisco promoting peace, love, and respect...along with a chance to dress 60s style and take to the streets in full party mode. Permit concerns blocked the parade last year, and that is a bummer, friends, because we just found the perfect typeface for our Super!Fantastic!!TM float entry, that being the bubble-icious Sniglet (free) by Canadian designer Haley Fiege. No font says LOVE ME, BABY! quite like Ms. Fiege's creation.
Imagine Civic Center plaza filled with folks in feather boas and hot pants, trance dancing in a style that recalls the heyday of Mister Bubble and Day-Glo body paint. Get the picture? No? Then think Kawaii and all things "kyuuto!" No matter how you approach this style, it's all about fun.
Sniglet looks more like a toy than a font. It's visually squeezable. Little clouds of letterforms line up like happy kindergarteners on an outing to the park. Inflated or Fat Display is far from new and has figured prominently on posters and packaging for every decade's party-period since the 60's. The Kawaii style emerged in the 70s, some say as a result of Japanese school girls writing with mechanical pencils instead of brushes. From schoolgirl notebooks to the marketplace, the letterforms blossomed into a style phenomenon, elevating cuteness to an international brand for everything from clothing to food to mannerisms. Typestyles as stealth cultural arbitrators! There's nothing like ballooning a letterform to lift the spirits of consumers. Go ahead and set the word "Sanrio" and you'll see what we mean.
The set includes full upper and lowercase, numerals, punctuation, and some math and currency signs. Web denizens trying to hide their e-mail addresses will appreciate the designer's witty inclusion of a "spelled out" @ sign. Use this pop-culture style in the spirit it was intended: for fun, for display, set large and preferably colored something less ominous than black. Do specify enough leading to avoid cutting off forms and definitely skip complete sentences of more than four words. Sniglet is not designed to communicate as much as emote.
The download contains two formats: TrueType (.ttf) and its younger sibling OpenType (.otf). OpenType is quickly becoming the industry standard and supports more storage for characters in a font, but load TrueType if your operating system is known to have compatibility issues with the newer format.
Sniglet is registered under an Open Font License. Commercial projects are okay. Selling the font as your design, however, is not okay. We have The League of Movable Type (among others) to thank for democratizing font licensing and making interesting styles available to those of us on a budget. We were delighted to find Sniglet in their lineup.
Some fonts are made for business. Some fonts are made for fun. If and when the Love Parade comes back to town it won't be Baskerville spreading the vibes on our banner. Look for Sniglet, like a bright bouquet of balloons, to mark our spot in the crowd.
Note: To use this font, unzip the folder and install the either the .ttf or .otf file in the folder C:\Windows\Fonts. Note that the fonts won't appear in your applications until you close and re-open them.