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Deep in the heart of every type designer is a cartographer who labors to plot the perfect path from A to Z even as they explore the mysterious regions in between. After all, without diligent attention to detail, a reader's eye could travel up the cap A, turn right too early and end up thinking it was on a lowercase n (as in the beginning of nowhere). Josh Fitzgerald's font design Pushpins (free) makes this mapping of type look like child's play.
True to its name, Pushpins' initial design started with the plotting of straight lines joined by small dots that approximate pinholes. Instead of drawing from point to point, these digital forms were constructed using stacks of pixel bricks in FontStruct, the free online font design application created by Rob Meek and responsible for experimental font sets like Jett and Tangle.
Pushpins appears simple but clever application of angles give extra character (no pun intended) to forms like the B, G, and S. I would have opted for a higher-waisted R, but that's a personal preference, not a deal-breaker. Each form is what it should be at first glance. In other words, if this were a map we couldn't get lost for trying.
The twenty-six uppercase letters share the same string-and-pin construction with each letterform resembling a mapped constellation. The fun begins in the lowercase forms where the pinpoints solo. The numeral set shares this dual personality. Type Shift + the numeral to find the pins alone.
So what? Well, set the lowercase pinpoints in a different color, layer them on top of the uppercase letters using a graphic design program like Adobe Photoshop and a two-toned effect is created. Add a glow to the pinpoints, change the colors on the lines and the letters morph into simple circuitry.
True, Pushpins is not a display font for the daily grind at the office. Fitzgerald's creation doesn't have a real lowercase, or punctuation, or any of the monetary symbols that business needs to pay the bills. What Pushpins does have is a light heart and that, type fans, is all it takes to set you traveling in a new direction.
Note: To use this font, unzip the folder and install the .ttf file in the folder C:\Windows\Fonts. Note that the font won't appear in your applications until you close and re-open it.
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