Martin Luther King Jr. handwriting font
Update #15

There’s a new update available to the Martin Luther king Font. You can download the font from your account:

You are new? Download the font for free here:

This Update adds the numbers: 1 2 3 4 5 and an alternative period.

The new version will show up in your font menu as “Martin Luther King 2021 March”. I recommend uninstalling older versions to keep your font menu organized.

A big “Thank you.”
to everybody who supported the creation of the font this month. This update is possible because of the financial support of 23 people from around the world. I want to take some space to thank them:

J. Harris, Montgomery, Al 🇺🇸
J. Horton, North Turramurra, NSW 🇦🇺
N. Renner, New Britain, CT 🇺🇸
B. Desclee, Brussels 🇧🇪
K. Engelbrecht, Bern 🇨🇭
R. Wampler, Colorado Springs, CO 🇺🇸
D. Chamberlain, Benicia, CA 🇺🇸
H. de Wolf, Zaandijk 🇳🇱
K. Tilley, Linthicum Heights, MD 🇺🇸
C. Smith, Nedlands, WA 🇦🇺
J. Ford, New York, NY 🇺🇸
P. Herman, Bonsall, CA 🇺🇸
F. Chaplais, Ile de France 🇫🇷
J. Holze, Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt 🇩🇪
N. Wilson, Broken Arrow, OK 🇺🇸
N. Faulkner, Bournville, Birmingham 🇬🇧
T. Zwitserlood, Amsterdam, NH 🇳🇱
J. Wilson, Nashville, TN 🇺🇸
G. Sjölin, Örebro 🇸🇪
R. Lindsey, Grand Terrace, CA 🇺🇸
H. Colsman-Freyberger, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg 🇩🇪
F. Engerer, Nürnberg, Bavaria 🇩🇪
H. Billetter, Kerpen, North Rhine-Westphalia 🇩🇪

join the list of supporters:

Transparency is important. Please find a detailed spreadsheet with the total number of supporters and donations →here.


Let’s talk fonts.
Benchmark:
How close does the font come to the original?



On the left side you see the original manuscript and on the right side the same text set with the Martin Luther King font.

A significant step for me in creating a font is to compare an original manuscript with the font. I have added a PDF (Martin Luther King font comparison.pdf) to the font files. In the document, you can see the font side by side with an original manuscript.

My aim here is not to create a copy of a page but to capture a hand’s aesthetic so that the page is not a copy but could be the second page from the same writer.

This overview and comparison gives me a good insight into where the font needs improvement and where to continue work in the future.


Why new numbers?

In the January update, I mentioned that almost all the alphabet letters are now in the font (capital Z is still missing). Now I focus on marks and signs. While looking for missing characters, I came upon the last page of Dr. King’s seminar notes on Social Philosophy from October 3, 1961, to January 23, 1962 (view the complete binder online at The Martin Luther King jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.) In the sample, we can see a lot of numbers.

Note the different fives at the beginning or end of a number.

The former numbers remain in the font and are stored in stylistic set 1. You can switch between the different numerals through the advanced typography menu. In some contexts, one set may be more suitable than the other.

In Word, you can reach the menu with these short cuts:

Ctrl+D or Ctrl+Shift+F on PC

or 

Command+D on MAC. 

In Libre Office, you can change the stylistic Set through the character menu and then pressing the Features Button.

Future Outlook

In the next update, I will add the missing numbers. An exclamation mark or question mark is still missing. And I am still very excited about the initial and final letterforms for future updates.


Support the development of the Martin Luther King font.

I enjoy working on the project very much; I hope you enjoy the font. Without support, this project would not be possible! The more people support the project, the more time I can spend working on the font. I will add one additional letter for each 100€ ($110, £90) donated monthly. If you want to support: please donate monthly. The continuity will help me and the rhythm of the project. Thank you.

Martin Luther King Jr. handwriting font
Update #14

This update comes to you a bit earlier than usual. January 15th is Martin Luther King jr’s Birthday. So I thought it would be a good reason to release a new update.

You can download the font from your account:

You are new? Download the font for free here:

This Update adds the letters: ă â à ā ą å ã ć č ç ě ê ė è ē ẽ ḡ î ï ì ī į ĩ ĺ ł ń ň ñ ô ò ő ō õ ŕ ř ś š ţ û ù ű ų ů ũ ŵ ẁ ŷ ỳ ỹ ź ž ż as well as the $ and an alternative comma.

The new version will show up in your font menu as “Martin Luther King 2021 February”. I recommend uninstalling older versions to keep your font menu organized.

A big “Thank you.”
to everybody who supported the creation of the font this month. This update is possible because of the financial support of 23 people from around the world. I want to take some space to thank them:

J. Harris, Montgomery, Al 🇺🇸
J. Horton, North Turramurra, NSW 🇦🇺
N. Renner, New Britain, CT 🇺🇸
B. Desclee, Brussels 🇧🇪
K. Engelbrecht, Bern 🇨🇭
R. Wampler, Colorado Springs, CO 🇺🇸
D. Chamberlain, Benicia, CA 🇺🇸
H. de Wolf, Zaandijk 🇳🇱
K. Tilley, Linthicum Heights, MD 🇺🇸
C. Smith, Nedlands, WA 🇦🇺
J. Ford, New York, NY 🇺🇸
P. Herman, Bonsall, CA 🇺🇸
F. Chaplais, Ile de France 🇫🇷
J. Holze, Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt 🇩🇪
N. Wilson, Broken Arrow, OK 🇺🇸
N. Faulkner, Bournville, Birmingham 🇬🇧
T. Zwitserlood, Amsterdam, NH 🇳🇱
J. Wilson, Nashville, TN 🇺🇸
G. Sjölin, Örebro 🇸🇪
R. Lindsey, Grand Terrace, CA 🇺🇸
H. Colsman-Freyberger, Mannheim, Baden-Württemberg 🇩🇪
F. Engerer, Nürnberg, Bavaria 🇩🇪
H. Billetter, Kerpen, North Rhine-Westphalia 🇩🇪

join the list of supporters:

Transparency is important. Please find a detailed spreadsheet with the total number of supporters and donations →here.


Let’s talk fonts.
Benchmark:
How close does the font come to the original?



On the left side you see the original manuscript and on the right side the same text set with the Martin Luther King font.

A significant step for me in creating a font is to compare an original manuscript with the font. I have added a PDF (Martin Luther King font comparison.pdf) to the font files. In the document, you can see the font side by side with an original manuscript.

My aim here is not to create a copy of a page but to capture a hand’s aesthetic so that the page is not a copy but could be the second page from the same writer.

This overview and comparison gives me a good insight into where the font needs improvement and where to continue work in the future.


Language support and marks.

With the last update in December, I introduced support for languages other than English. The font works fine in English. But to work in the 21st century, a font has to support many languages. For example, German needs the little two dots over a vowel to indicate a change in pronunciation. Or french is not possible to write without a beautiful acute.

You can imagine that finding samples of ä,ö,ü, or é isn’t easy. These letters need to be improvised based on the manuscripts at hand. For example, the dots from a lowercase i and j can indicate how Dr. King might have written an ö. This update adds the letters: ă â à ā ą å ã ć č ç ě ê ė è ē ẽ ḡ î ï ì ī į ĩ ĺ ł ń ň ñ ô ò ő ō õ ŕ ř ś š ţ û ù ű ų ů ũ ŵ ẁ ŷ ỳ ỹ ź ž ż

These letters come from a variety of languages written around the globe. It is one thing to design letters and another to create a handwriting font. Often the letter-form appears different when they are typed or written. Finding out the correct form of how to write a letter is not that easy. I remember one example, the “L with stroke,” which is used in Poland. A friend from Warshaw contacted me to correct my work. The “stroke” is not “stroked” across the letter, but as a wave gently placed above the letter. These details one can only get to know from someone who learned writing in that language.

Now that almost all letters of the alphabet are in the font (capital Z is still missing), I focus on marks and signs. While looking for missing characters, I came upon the last page of Dr. King’s seminar notes on Social Philosophy from October 3, 1961, to January 23, 1962. You can view the complete notes online at The Martin Luther King jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University. Here we see a spreadsheet with numbers and many Dollar signs.

Future Outlook

In the sample, we can also see a variety of numbers. Note the different fives at the beginning or end of a number. The font’s current numbers are from samples found in text samples and don’t work well in big numbers. An exclamation mark or question mark is still missing. You can expect additions to the numerals, symbols, and I am still very excited about initial and final letterforms in the next updates.


Question:
Do you know a teacher in the US?

On Monday, January 18th Martin Luther King Jr. Day will be celebrated in the US as a national holiday. The holiday is an annual reason to commemorate Dr. King’s life and work, especially in schools.

As an avid user of the font, I wanted to reach out to you and ask: Do you know a high-school teacher in the US? Please forward them the link to the site. I imagine using the font as a student to, for example, write a paper about Dr. King would be an inspiring and entertaining aid. I would be curious to see the possibilities of the font being used in this context. The font is free for personal and educational use.


Support the development of the Martin Luther King font.

I enjoy working on the project very much; I hope you enjoy the font. Without support, this project would not be possible! The more people support the project, the more time I can spend working on the font. I will add one additional letter for each 100€ ($110, £90) donated monthly. If you want to support: please donate monthly. The continuity will help me and the rhythm of the project. Thank you.
Donate to the font. Thanks.

Typographic Object #0 – 8
HOW
ARE
YOU

Nine Typographic Objects produced in context of the Typographic Postcard Series. The project was first presented on Kickstarter in September 2020.


Typographic Object #0
HOW ARE YOU

2020

sold

Owner: J. Ulanovsky, B. A., Argentina
November 2020


Typographic Detail:
On the first day of January in 2002, the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign on the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a European keyboard.


Typographic Object #1
HOW ARE YOU

2020

sold

Owner: D. Low, Hornsby, Australia
November 2020


Typographic Detail:
On the first day of January in 2002, the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign on the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a European keyboard.   


Typographic Detail #2:
Notice the letter’s position on the key. The H and U are in the lower left and not on the upper left like most keyboards. Instead of an extended upright type with a rather static appeal, the typeface used here is condensed and cursive which gives the keys a fast look. This design was used on Apple keyboards until the mid-2000s.


Typographic Object #2
HOW ARE YOU

(OREO Edition)
2020

sold

Owner: E. Kulzer, Astoria, NY, USA
November 2020


Typographic Detail:
On the first day of January in 2002, the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign on the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a European keyboard.   


Typographic Detail #2:
Notice the letter’s position on the key. The H and U are in the lower left and not on the upper left like most keyboards. Instead of an extended upright type with a rather static appeal, the typeface used here is condensed and cursive which gives the keys a fast look. This design was used on Apple keyboards until the mid-2000s.


Typographic Object #3
HOW ARE YOU

(A1243)
2020

sold

Owner: A. Hinderling, Berlin, Germany
November 2020


Typographic Detail:
Typographic Object #3 is entirely made from keys taken form Apple A1243 keyboards, which was introduced in 2007. On its back, one reads: Designed by Apple in California. Assembled in China Model No. A1243 EMC No. 2171.


Typographic Object #4
HOW ARE YOU

2020

sold

Owner: P. Borgwat, Haarlem, Netherlands
November 2020


Typographic Object #5
HOW ARE YOU

(IBM Model M)
2020

sold

Owner: Y. Kafai, Philadelphia, US
November 2020


Trivia:
The keys used are taken from IBM Model M Keyboards designed in 1984 and presumably built around 1989 (see picture below). The IBM Model M Keyboard was manufactured in the United Kingdom. The unit is still being produced but moved from IBM to Unicomp Inc, Kentucky, USA.

In PCWorld (Jul 8, 2008) Benj Edwards writes about the Model M:
“Stung by the criticism, IBM assembled a ten-person task force to craft a new keyboard, according to David Bradley, a member of that task force and of the 5150’s design team. Their resulting 101-key design, 1984’s Model M, became the undisputed bellwether for the computer industry, with a layout that dominates desktops to this day. As we peek under the hood of this legend, you’ll soon see why many consider the Model M to be the greatest keyboard of all time.”



Typographic Object #6
HOW ARE YOU

2020


Typographic Detail:
On the first day of January in 2002, the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign on the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a European keyboard.   


Typographic Detail #2:
Notice the letter’s position on the key. The H is in the lower left and not on the upper left like most keyboards. Instead of an extended upright type with a rather static appeal, the typeface used here is condensed and cursive which gives the keys a fast look. This design was used on Apple keyboards until the mid-2000s.


Typographic Object #7
HOW ARE YOU

2020


Typographic Detail:
On the first day of January in 2002, the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign on the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a European keyboard.   


Typographic Object #8
HOW ARE YOU

(TETRIS)
2020

Typographic Detail:
On the first day of January in 2002, the Euro currency was introduced. After 1999 keyboard manufacturers started to print a € sign on the E key. This makes it easy to spot the age of a European keyboard.   

Martin Luther King font on Kickstarter


After creating fonts based on the handwriting of Sigmund Freud (2013), Albert Einstein (2015) and Martin Luther (2017), I would like to continue the series with Martin Luther King. The civil rights activist and minister’s actions and speeches resonated around the world and continue to inspire generations today. It is fair to say that we all know what his voice sounds like, but as a typographer I became curious: how did he prepare his speeches and organised his thoughts in writing, and what does Dr. King’s handwriting look like?

I was very happy to find that the clarity of his speeches resonates with the clarity of his handwriting. As you can see on the right, I created already a prototype of the font.

With approval from the King Estate in Atlanta, I launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and upfront the production costs. Support the campaign and be the first to receive the font at a much cheaper price (1€ ≈ $1.10).

If the funding goal is not reached until October 26, the font will not be made.

I would be very happy if you would join me on this journey and share it with your family, friends and colleagues. See the campaign video below and find more details on Kickstarter.

    Nachdem Ich Computerschriften basierend auf den Handschriften von Sigmund Freud (2013), Albert Einstein (2015) und Martin Luther (2017) erstellt habe, möchte ich die Serie mit Martin Luther King fortsetzen. Die Aktionen und Reden des Bürgerrechtlers fanden Anklang und Nachhall in der ganzen Welt und inspirieren immer wieder aufs Neue. Man kann wohl sagen das wir Alle den Klang seiner Stimme kennen, aber als Typograf wurde ich neugierig: Wie hat er seine Reden vorbereitet und wie seine Gedanken schriftlich festgehalten, und wie sieht Dr. Kings Handschrift aus?

Mit Freude kann ich Feststellen das die Klarheit der Reden Kings sich auch in der Ästhetik seiner Handschrift widerspiegeln. Wie Sie sehen können habe ich bereits einen Prototypen des Fonts erstellen.

Mit Genehmigung des King Estate in Atlanta habe ich eine Kickstarter Kampagne gestartet um die Produktionskosten der Schrift vorzufinanzieren. Unterstützen Sie die Kampagne jetzt und erhalten die Schrift zu einem günstigeren Preis (1€).

Wird das Finanzierungsziel nicht bis zum 26. Oktober erreicht, wird die Schrift nicht erstellt.

Es würde mich sehr freuen wenn Sie an dieser Aktion teilnehmen und diese auch mit Ihren Kollegen, Freunden und Familie teilen würden. Mehr Details finden Sie auf der Kickstarter Seite.

 

WISH YOU WERE HERE

WISH YOU WERE HERE by Harald Geisler

WISH YOU WERE HERE Object
created 2018
signed on the backside

Framed 35x35x4.5cm