FRANKENFONT: types and corpses

January 2, 2012

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As time goes by, the idea of what is grotesque mutates. The torn flesh and entrails have given way to complete digital people, unrecognizable faces and ultra realistic photographs. If he lived today, Victor Frankenstein would not work amongst formaldehyde and withered cells. Instead, he would rise from the dead PDF files and incomplete fonts.

The North American studio Fathom , specialised in data visualization, has created this perfect reissue of Shelley’s classic novel from PDF files with faulty letters found on the Internet. PDF format files don’t tend to include the complete versions of the fonts due to fear of them being extracted and used for non-authorised purposes.

For the creation of Frankenfont , and following the style of a disciplined surgeon, a curious and complex methodology was put into practice (http://fathom.info/latest/1908), which included searching PDF files on the Internet for all the book’s words, dissecting them in their corresponding letters or calculating the percentage and recurrence of the fonts used for each one. So, at the beginning of the book we find the most common fonts (Arial, Helvetica or Times New Roman), which also coincide with the quietest part of the novel. As the sad story of the most famous monster moves forward, the fonts used also suffer a transformation: Arial Bold and Times Italic begin to appear, to be replaced later on by other fonts so terrifying that we wouldn’t even dare to mention them.

Mary Shelley will be roaring with laughter from her grave.

(via Book Cover Archive: Blog

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