The Erased Font is the result of a close collaboration between Dutch brand and digital design studio Wonderland, 180 Global and Free Press Unlimited. To raise awareness for World Press Freedom Day (3 May) - highlighting the growing number of imprisoned journalists across the world. And to honour censored and imprisoned journalists all around the world by sharing their stories.
The number of imprisoned journalists has increased by 300% since 2000. As of 2021, there were 293 journalists in prison. This means that we have lost 293 perspectives on critical news events that they wrote about.
Free Press Unlimited is an international press freedom organisation that collaborates with over 300 local media partners in more than 50 countries. Their mission is to make independent news and information available to everyone.
The Erased font: a custom font
The custom font - created by 180 Global - visualises the ever-growing threat on press freedom. Within a written story it erases one word for every journalist that was imprisoned in 2022: amounting to 363 erased words. Words relating to topics imprisoned journalists have reported on. Every time another journalist is captured, another word will disappear.
The Erased font: website
Following the design of the font, Wonderland created a truly thought-provoking, interactive website showcasing the Erased font and the message behind it.
The user interacts with a customised element that brings the Erased font to life. Enabling users to observe complete words slowly getting wiped out. The agency introduced a toggle on the website, so users can turn the Erased font on and off. Showing the impact and implications of censorship.
They also developed a tool that can be installed on actual press websites. Showing what happens to the actual words and stories written by journalists. An extremely effective way of bringing awareness to this cause, and highlighting the growing concern of journalists being imprisoned.
The user interacts with a digital experience that shows the implications of censorship in real time.
Behind the scenes: challenges
The font needed to be easy to install for third-party websites. Therefore, Wonderland developed an innovative tool on GitHub - an open-source platform for coders - which facilitates the seamless integration of the Erased font with third party websites. This created some challenges as many news and media organisations whitelist certain platforms only.
The agency also had to create and develop fast due to the project’s tight timeline: aligning with Press Freedom Day. Putting in a lot of strategic thought as to how to best utilise the time to produce the best visual representation of this not to be taken lightly subject matter.
International media coverage
Great interaction across social media platforms
Recognition by networks of news organisations and journalists around the world
Free Press Unlimited promoted the campaign across social media, LinkedIn, their Website and many more media touch points. Hoping that every year the number of news organisations and independent media will grow and join their cause by spreading the message. Wonderland did a great job in digitally facilitating this.