Innovation That Matters


Eroding typeface shows horrors of climate change


A Swedish designer brings the terrifying impact of climate change to your keyboard

Spotted: A new typeface called Coastline, developed by Swedish designer Johan Elmehag, contains a terrifying warning about climate change. Elmehag took data from website Flood Map and National Geographic and made a map. The resulting map showed the world as it would appear if all of the world’s ice melted – an exaggerated outcome but an affecting one. The map was filled with coastlines made of squiggly lines. Elmehag thought they looked like letters of the alphabet. It gave him an idea.

He decided to create a new font. Next, he carried it a step further by using the letters to illustrate how rising water levels would impact particularly exposed countries and their futures. A squiggly “U”, for example, represents the future of Mexico. Scientists say the country could be split in half by rising waters. A QR code that accompanies the typeface provides more information on the consequences of climate change.

The script can be downloaded. There’s also a book, A-Z: Coast to Coast Shore to Shore, published in July 2018, which provides additional information about the project and each letter.




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