The context isn’t a happy one, but we can all agree that the newest coronavirus, the COVID-19, kind of gave us a small present: we stay at home amid the pandemic, which means that we get to spend more time with our family, our pets, and we definitely get some extra time for ourselves. Still, people are pretty positive these days. They are trying to kill time by doing silly things: either playing football with a toilet paper roll, singing from their balconies, or staying entertained by playing a new type of Counter-Strike.
There are a lot of things one can do to fight COVID-19-related boredom. And the internet abounds in such articles. Of all the articles out there, we stumbled upon a very helpful one posted by Forbes: It features 15 smart ways of fighting boredom. But of all the things the publication described, it seems that there’s one that hasn’t received the attention it really deserves: reading! While the other points were dealt with in more detail, reading received only two rows. Forbes simply notes: “Whether you’re reading physical books, digital books, or just online articles, reading is a great way to occupy yourself and keep your mind sharp.” And we couldn’t agree more. Still, we are wondering: What do we read? Magazines, blog posts, newspapers? Books?
It’s hard to keep us safe from fake news these days. That’s why the Reading Association of the Philippines (RAP) suggests you stick with the classics. There are no lies in there and some of them are so good that you completely forget about the hard days you have to go through. Between 600,000 and 1,000,000 new books are published every year (these are the numbers for the US only). It’s hard for the classics to compete with that. With so many new books on the table, one can understand why these publications have been left into oblivion. But they should not have such a fate. These are the books that have shaped the literature of today. So, we need to honor them.
RAP thought of a very smart idea that might give these books another chance…
To make people reconsider what they are reading, the association joined hands with creative agency BBDO Guerrero and launched a collection of original typefaces. Because they are inspired by the most famous classics, the duo named their project “Font Books.” These unique letters were born to give a better appreciation and understanding of classic stories. Instead of the generic font preview that is typically used, such as “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog,” Font Books uses custom excerpts taken from the novels that inspired the fonts, such as “It was that accursed white whale that razed me; made a poor pegging lubber of me forever and a day!” (Moby Dick) and “One morning, when Gregor Samsa woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin.” (The Metamorphosis).
The project was launched on February 15th at Graphika 2020, one of the world’s biggest design events, with the fonts printed in an actual book that attendees could peruse. “We created these typefaces as a way to feature books in a new, non-intrusive manner—inspired by people just like myself who spend way too much time looking for free fonts online, and not enough getting into the classics,” says BBDO Guerrero Creative Director and the art-based talent behind the work, Michelle Edu.
BBDO Guerrero Creative Chairman David Guerrero adds: “This is a labor of love and stealth by the team. Download a new font for free and get a timeless work of literature in the bargain. We hope it sparks off renewed appreciation for these great books.”
Readers are invited to fontbooks.org, where they can read Moby-Dick, The Metamorphosis, The Time Machine, Kama Sutra, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Secret Garden, A Princess of Mars, and Peter Pan. Each of these books is free to download and their availability is both under eBook format and audiobook. Moreover, RAP is planning to release five more books in the next weeks.
Agency: BBDO Guerrero