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Siggi Odds' typographic magic is spelled in runes


n this project a certain alternate real­ity or a parallel universe is presented, which imagines how Iceland’s most well-known and loved brandmarks would look if we had never taken up the Roman alphabet and only used Futhark runes as we did be­fore Christianity was established in Iceland" writes Icelandic designer Siggi Odds of his latest typographic project aptly named Rúnamerki (Runemarks).

Even though type today has been developed mainly around the Roman alphabet "the Old Norse characters known as Elder Futhark have become a preoccupation" for Odds' personal type adventure which was slated for exhibition during Design March.

"The idea for the project came when I was researching runes and experimenting with creating some of my own with letterforms from existing typefaces" says Odds to Eye On Design. "It occurred to me that it was really odd that neither I, nor anyone I know, could read or write runes. Futhark runes were used in Iceland from the first century AD until Christianity took over in Scandinavia, and with it came the Roman alphabet. Runes lingered in some small form until the 19th century—ornamental mainly—but after that they fell almost entirely out of use."

"By looking at runes through word­marks we know and love, we can learn to decipher them and honor this piece of cultural history which has mostly disappeared in our modern culture. In the project some of Iceland’s best known logos are presented, redrawn in runes and put in context in images" he writes. "This project was first and foremost made for fun, but hopefully it manages to remind people of this somewhat forgotten piece of national history".

Runes are the letters in a set of related alphabets known as runic alphabets, which were used to write various Germanic languages before the adoption of the Latin alphabet and for specialised purposes thereafter. The Scandinavian variants are also known as futhark or fuþark (derived from their first six letters of the alphabet: F, U, Þ, A, R, and K); the Anglo-Saxon variant is futhorc or fuþorc (due to sound changes undergone in Old English by the names of those six letters).

Explore Odds' so ancient is new type adventure here