Alphabet Design Proposal: Jessica Colvin

Lately, I’ve been watching Doctor Who produced by BBC and my typeface inspiration text comes from a particularly poignant scene in season three, episode nine “The Family of Blood.”

“He never raised his voice. That was the worst thing–the fury of the Time Lord–and then we discovered why.  Why this Doctor, who had fought with gods and demons, why he had run away from us and hidden. He was being kind. He wrapped my father in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star.  He tricked my mother into the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy to be imprisoned there, forever. He still visits my sister, once a year, every year. I wonder if one day he might forgive her, but there she is. Can you see? He trapped her inside a mirror. Every mirror. If ever you look at your reflection and see something move behind you just for a second, that’s her. That’s always her. As for me, I was suspended in time and the Doctor put me to work standing over the fields of England, as their protector. We wanted to live forever.  So the Doctor made sure we did.”
(“The Family of Blood.”  Doctor Who. Writ. Paul Cornell. Dir. Charles Palmer. BBC. UK. June, 2007. DVD.)

I like this description of the Doctor because it shows the terror of a good person’s wrath.  This passage and the message here inspired me to use Doctor Who as the inspiration for my typeface design.

“He never raised his voice.” Drawn by me using BBC’s created cipher from Doctor Who called Gallifreyan

In the show the Doctor comes from a world called Gallifrey and they have a writing system that is based on circles and lines.  Gallifreyan is a cipher of the English alphabet and I love how this system forms words with circles and it makes me question why all text has to be written in straight lines and why our symbols are all so rectangular.





With these thoughts and ideas I plan to design a modular typeface that is not based on a traditional grid, but a polar grid.  This will force me to form letters with angled lines and circles. I believe a modular construction is the correct path based on my inspiration because modular designs capture that futuristic science fiction feel that I want, but because Doctor Who also shows a lot of history I want to include some token to handwritten elements by using portions of the lines on my polar grid to add serifs to my letters.  I will likely exclusively use Illustrator to develop my typeface because that is the program I am most comfortable with and it has a convenient line tool that draws polar grids.

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