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Prozac

By Barnbrook Fonts

Throughout the history of typography there have been countless attempts to simplify the alphabet. In the early 20th century, modernist designers experimented with reducing the alphabet to basic geometric shapes. Prozac pushes this utopian experiment further by reducing the roman alphabet to just six shapes. These shapes are then flipped or rotated to make up the 26 letters of the alphabet. The process of rationalisation raises questions. Does the simplification of letterforms - the instruments of language - affect the meaning of the words? If so, does this simplification then affect thought and communication? Do alphabetic writing systems bring about different modes of thought to logographic writing systems (for example the difference between Roman and Chinese characters)? The name Prozac is taken from the well-known brand name for the antidepressant fluoxetine and was chosen to reflect the pharmaceutical aesthetic of the letterforms—the typeface looks like it was designed by scientists for a perfect genetically-engineered society. The name also alludes to a 'flattening-out of the sine wave' effect that can be created by antidepressants, that this could be somehow analogous to the effect on language of a highly-simplified alphabet.
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