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Redact Mono

Experimental Variable Type Design, 2022

If you are interested in trying Redact Mono for yourself, please get in touch via email.

Redact Mono is a monospaced variable typeface with nine (and a half) iterations. Inspired by historical monospaced typefaces, the Redaction Paintings by Jenny Holzer, and the quintessential redacted government secrets we have all seen in films, Redact started with the idea of, what if a typeface could redact itself?

Redact uses the variable function to make the letters less and less legible, until finally they are changed or obscured completely. The most basic of these is Redact Horizontal, which replicated the classic black redaction lines with an expanding horizontal line. In Redact Horizontal Invert, the growing line reveals a knockout of the symbol, which allows for more legibility. 

Some other versions include Redact Square, which has a square grow from the center of the symbol. Redact Pixelate has six squares in a two by three grid that fill the letter. Redact Iris starts with a thin circle that encompasses the letter, and fills inwards without expanding. Redact Square, Pixelate, and Iris all have Invert versions as well.

Redact Wingdingish stands out in that rather than a secondary shape growing to obscure the symbols, the symbols themselves transform into new and unrecognizable ones. Wingdingish is also different in that the result is not inherently illegible, as someone could in theory train themselves to read this new alphabet.

Ultimately, Redact Mono proved to be a project too large to tackle completely, at least for now. My experience in type design up to this point is somewhat limited, which shows in some letterforms. Some technical issues began to come up as well, such as the lowercase “r” and “2” always corrupting in strange ways after exporting. Lastly, the half finished version hinted at earlier, Redact Zig-Zag (like Horizontal but with alternating diagonals that would create a zig-zag line) involved some coding skills far beyond my capabilities. 
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