Creating a font based upon Albert Einstein’s handwriting? Yes, please!
“Nice to meet you! We are Harald and Liz, the creators of the Albert Einstein handwriting font” says the intro to our favorite Kickstarter campaign of the week. “We would like your help to finish production of our invention: a font based upon the handwriting of Albert Einstein. The Albert Einstein font will be compatible with most digital devices, allowing you to “write like a genius” on your computer and phone” comment the creators of this brilliant idea that combines typography with science in the most intriguing way possible. A project that honors Einstein’s innovative style of imaginative, rigorous and ever playful way of thinking, this release is coincides with the centennial of the General Theory of Relativity. This is a strange and rather innovative collaboration between a typographer and a dancer. Harald Geisler, graduate of the University of Art and Design Offenbach in Germany, and Liz Waterhouse, BA Physics from Harvard and former dancer with the Forsythe Company in Frankfurt met each other back in 2009, over a series of coffees in Frankfurt. Liz remembers looking at a text written in a handwriting font (on her napkin at the coffee shop) and asking Harald if he could design one. The idea to make a “life-like” handwriting font from studying penmanship of innovative thinkers came next. Their choice of Albert Einstein’s handwriting was aesthetic and pragmatic, even a bit nostalgic given Liz’s memories of reading Einstein’s nonscientific essays as a teenager. “Einstein’s equations were beautiful, so it makes sense that their presentation should be as well!” says Astrophysicist Phil Marshall (at SLAC Stanford). Einstein’s handwriting reflected movement with clear rhythm, even flow, and soft curves. Harald’s task was to develop a font that preserved that feel. He did it. Six months after studying examples of Einstein’s handwriting from documents in the Albert Einstein Archives, Harald created a working prototype. Working with a digital pen to follow the rhythm of Einstein’s movement on paper, Geisler’s result had a pleasing and strong resemblance to Einstein’s actual handwriting. In 2014 the Einstein Estate accepted the proposal for an Albert Einstein font. Back this project here and be a part of a scientific typographic experiment that will be treasured from here to eternity.