Isodrag Typeface

Prepared By arielwaldman for sciencehackday

Isodrag Typeface

Typefaces often strive for visual consistency in their design, but what if they took their visual cues from the physical world? The Isodrag Typeface is a font designed by aerodynamics.

The Isodrag Font

Aerodynamic Type

Isodrag is a typeface that was created by a physicist, David Harris. He was was playing with typography and wanted to create in which all of the letters had equal wind drag.  To make Isodrag, they made a makeshift wind-tunnel, and recorded the aerodynamic drag of each individual uppercase sans-serif letter. Each individual letter was then altered and weighted so all the letters would have equal wind drag. For example, the letter 'I' has low aerodynamic drag, so it was modified to be very thick. The product is a typeface that is aerodynamically consistent.

Fun, but clever

When you have someone from a particular discipline work in another, it doesn’t always have to be to solve a problem. Here you have a physicist playing with typography to design a font by aerodynamics. The end result, Isodrag, becomes really fun because you really see the playful experimentation. There's no serendipitous solution that was solved or an obvious, immediate application, but this is a great example of what Science Hack Day is all about: just creating things and not knowing where they're going. It about doing things which will occasionally, but not always, lead to some cool idea down the road that is actually applicable to something. In this case, it hasn’t been applicable to anything yet, but a lot of people gravitate towards it and really enjoy seeing it because of this and because of how ridiculous it is.  Even if the hack doesn’t go anywhere or solve anything, you're still creating something that quite possibly has never existed in the world before, which can be rather clever. 


Further Reading

  1. Isodrag on Science Hack Day

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Prepared By arielwaldman on behalf of Science Hack Day

Areas Covered

Acknowledgements & Credits


David Harris

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