CROWDFONT is not only about type design but also about democracy. It’s about simulating today’s democratic processes in a smaller, artificial setting and with a strong visual approach to make it easier to understand for the mass by removing any political messages that are nowadays strongly connected to emotions. It’s about experimenting with democracy’s principles in a ‘designed’ context.

 

In his article about right-wing parties on the rise in Europe and the deconstruction of democracy, professor of philosophy at University of London, Anthony Clifford Grayling explains the reason for today’s representative democracies in Western countries. It’s because the voter as powerful individual isn’t fully informed and not interested in serious discussions. This is caused by a lack of didactics in today’s election campaigns. Let’s take a look back in 2016: Trump versus Clinton, Brexit or EU, Van der Bellen against Hofer. Nothing in between. At least very little information, but a lot of populism and emotion-driven campaigning. That’s why elected representatives – presidential electors or the British government – actually failed in realizing the primary idea of a representative democracy, because they didn’t think about long-term consequences and blindly followed the decisions made by a numeral majority of voters, those heavily influenced by the tabloid press.

So basically, contemporary political systems in the West aren’t perfectly running democracies (anymore), but strongly restrained by a lack of didactics and cleverly raised populism.
These were also the basic ingredients for CROWDFONT.

 

DEMOCRACY
– One person, one vote. Each vote counts the same.
– The winner takes it all. The numeral majority decides, no matter what this could mean for the final result.


POPULISM
– Predefined choices – visualized in an abstract way – equal the (simple) solutions suggested by real world politic’s parties: For or against and only little in between.
– Single decisions – and one after another – without keeping the big picture in mind stand for votings like the Brexit referendum, where long-term projects like the EU don’t matter anymore.


DIDACTICS
– Each choice is explained very shortly in the voting process. Often only what it means at the moment or historic information, but seldom what it really could result in.
– Those details are available, but not always visible. The user has to be especially interested and move the mouse or click to see the explanation.
– Later the project will put a strong focus on sharing knowledge to inform the user (about type design) and make clear, what was missing before to make a profound decision.

 

By re-staging today’s democracies circumstances in simplified terms CROWDFONT manages to show the consequences visually – and without any harm. And as we slowly but surely can see now, the font will be both suprising but also a moderate disaster and not very enjoyable in everyday life. I think we can all agree, that this year’s political changes are quite the same.