Wouter Oomen and Erik Hamburger, two third year Advertising students, won the prestigious D&AD New Blood Award with their project ‘theErased_.otf’. The New Blood Awards are open for application to advertising, design, digital and marketing students, recent graduates and emerging creatives worldwide. It's a great opportunity to gain experience with real briefs and getting global recognition for starting professionals.
The idea for theErased_.otf was developed from the D&AD New Blood brief that included creating a typographic campaign based on one of the 31 human rights. “A shocking insight that we found is that the amount of journalists imprisoned grew by 300% since 2000. Currently there are 293 journalists imprisoned globally, that’s 293 perspectives we lost on the critical events they wrote on”, says Wouter. ”The big problem is that imprisonment of journalists is invisible to the public. We can’t read what isn’t published. With our project we want to make this invisible problem visible for the public by creating a platform and launch a media campaign to raise awareness.”
TheErased_.otf is a font family that makes this loss visible by erasing a word for every journalist who ends up behind bars. The font will be updated every year, so that the degradation of press freedom becomes visible over time. Together with a website, social posts and posters the font works as a platform to keep the public informed about the journalists that are imprisoned by visualizing the problem.
“On World Press Freedom Day we team up with news organizations to make the decline of press freedom visible. We install our font on their websites to confront the public with the erased words and to inform them about the journalists behind these words”, says Erik. “We used common font-features to make this work. The erased words are done with ligatures. This typographic method is normally used to increase readability, but is now used to make the text unreadable. Every word that gets erased, is representative of the journalist’s work to symbolize the lost perspective of this specific journalist.”
Wouter and Erik are both interns at the Amsterdam based creative agency 180. “We did most of the work for this project during the train rides from Rotterdam to Amsterdam and back. “Sometimes we had to come up with creative solutions because we didn’t always have access to all the software necessary. That’s why we used Google Slides to create ‘animations’, instead of professional software from Adobe. It was quite intense to combine our internship with working on this project, but we were so driven and passionate about it that we made it work’, says Erik.
“We are so happy that we won this award, and hope this will help raise awareness for our project and at the same time create possibilities for our future professional career. Right now, we are looking for clients that want to work with us by implementing our font to their platforms so that we can make a big impact on society”, says Wouter.