Freud Friday: The Shrink Font

Freud Friday: The Shrink Font

I haven’t devoted a Friday to Freud in a long time, but two different friends called an intriguing bit of Freudiana to my attention.

The Project

After looking through Freud’s letters, German typographer Harald Geisler was inspired to create an electronic version of the father of psychoanalysis’s handwriting, a font that he envisions you might use to “write a letter to your shrink.”

If, of course, you have a shrink who encourages you to send email. And one who wouldn’t think that sending letters in someone else’s handwriting was a questionable activity that you might have to talk about for, say, another year or so.

Geisler discusses the details here:

Geisler describes himself as “in awe of the beautiful handwriting.”  I don’t find it all that attractive but I’m fascinated at how the script lends itself to different interpretations, depending on your view of Freud.

An entire book — see picture next to the title — was devoted to analyzing the analyst’s handwriting, and I think it’s safe to assume that Geisler is a Freud fan, too. My literary pal Vera Marie Badertscher of A Traveler’s Library sent me a link to a Graphology World blog post that notes, “Passion is the word best used to describe Freud’s handwriting with its ink-filled letters and many sweeping extensions,” while emphasizing “there is also a strong element of untamed inventiveness, of genius unconfined by established rules and a boundless creative energy that exudes from every letter.”

But here’s a Jungian who uses Freud’s handwriting to diss him:

Freud’s script suggests a person who is all-consuming (notice how his writing overtakes the page due to overlapping spacing), volatile, and narrow-minded. His dominating will was the driving force in him and there was much duality.

Maybe the author can find someone to create a Jung font.

Why I Love This Project

  • It’s geekily romantic, at once artistic and scientific. The idea of using a computer to re-create something so retro and personal as handwriting is delightfully contradictory.
  • It involves fonts. I spend a lot of time thinking about typeface sizes and style; though I’m basically a Times New Roman gal (the font this post is in), I dream of venturing into, say, Comic Sans.
  • It’s crowd sourced. I’m just learning about different populist funding plans like Kickstarter, but am making up for lost time with enthusiasm. It’s fun to support other people’s quirky visions — and dream that one day they might invest in yours.  Gaisler had goal of raising $1500. People have kicked in nearly $19,000 so far
  • It involves bottomless chocolate cake. Investing $150 earns you Cake Level status, which means:

You will be mentioned in the credits, get a signed Poster, a handwritten “Thank you”, your own ligature, word and Signature and I will invite you to a chat about typography. During this chat I will buy you as much cake as you can eat! If you are not around Austria or Germany in 2013 I will send a Viennese speciality, the SACHER CHOCOLATE CAKE in a wooden basket to you!! (World wide shipping included)

  • It will allow me to blog as Freud. I contributed $10 in order to be able to write a blog post in Freud Font (a.k.a. Sigmund Freud Typeface).  I promise not to abuse that privilege.

For additional information, see Sigmund Freud Typeface — A Letter to Your Shrink.

5 Responses to Freud Friday: The Shrink Font

  1. Did I not just see a headline this morning in the NYT about a program professors can now use to grade essays – . I had an idea ten years ago while in grad school to create word programs that could turn your prose into ‘Hemingway’ style or ‘Faulkner’ or others. I suppose that is out there now. Wonder if having Freud’s font I would write over-compensatingly feminine prose to analyze my analyst – or the reverse ???

  2. […] Open Culture “…geekily romantic, at once artistic and scientific” — Edie Jarolim, Freud’s Butcher “…sympathisch” — Jürgen Siebert, […]

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