Sci-Tech

Write like a genius with new Einstein font

The typographer who created Sigmund Freud's handwritten font is at it again, this time producing a typeset that mimics the attractive penmanship of Albert Einstein.

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This image shows an original Einstein manuscript with the new font in black above the lines. Harald Geisler/Elizabeth Waterhouse

A brand new font based on Albert Einstein's handwriting might not actually make you smarter, but it will allow you to type up documents that look like they were written by one of the world's most popular geniuses. And that's something that seems to appeal to lots of people, as the Kickstarter campaign to bring the font to light has recently exceeded its initial goal of $15,000 (about £9,861, AU$18,858), with over a month still left.

The font is being created by physicist (and dancer) Elizabeth Waterhouse and typographer Harald Geisler, the same guy who ran a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2013 to invent a font that mimicked Sigmund Freud's handwriting. The campaign to create Freud's handwriting closed in the spring of last year and raised more than $25,000.

What makes Geisler's fonts so engaging is that he actually draws up four versions of every character. This, he says, makes the font much more realistic than other "handwriting fonts" typically available in word-processing programs.

"Although typography has progressed from techniques of manufacturing material letters for the printing press in the 15th century to the art of digital lettering, the assortment of handwriting fonts available today do not actually appear like genuine handwriting," Geisler said in a release. "If you look closely, the scripted letters are repeated without variation -- nothing like the actual art of writing with a pen or pencil."

It's exactly this technique, Geisler says, that has led him to request the funds on Kickstarter. While he has already created a prototype of the font containing one version of each letter, he says he'll need more funding for six months of additional work to draw up three more versions of the font set. And, if the Kickstarter campaign reaches $30,000 (about £19,722, AU$37,716), he'll even add a fifth.

Geisler lays out his method of producing the fonts on the Kickstarter page in great detail and, when you have a look at what goes into it, pledging $15 (about £9.86, AU$18.16) to get the font seems like a fair deal. Plus, the font has already been approved by Einstein's estate, so you know things are legit.

Now that the campaign has reached its goal, the font is scheduled to be released later this year -- which is appropriate, as 2015 is the 100-year anniversary of the Einstein's first unveiling of his General Theory of Relativity.

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