mramir23's picture


I am trying to figure out what font would be used best for depicting a secretive composition. It doesn't have to be literal, but any suggestions would be great!

Thanks all!


David Sudweeks's picture

Monospaced or typewriter fonts tend to still put out a feeling of secrecy when used to that effect. Trixie, Remington Typewriter, warmer Rubrik, cooler Lettera.

Luma Vine's picture


russellm's picture

an Optical Character Recognition font like OCR-A.

Renko's picture

For headlines you can try FF You Can Read Me

JamesM's picture

What type of secret document did you have in mind? A secret diary? A government document?

mramir23's picture

Thanks all, really great suggestions!

James, it's for an experimental typographic composition depicting the secretive notion of a city. I need to use 2 fonts that will express the idea.

dtw's picture

What came to my mind was LTR The Printed Word...

Nick Shinn's picture

Of mine, the boxed-in Panoptica Pixel might signify a restricted data infrastructure, with the strangeness of unicase suggesting the obscurity of code.

quadibloc's picture

The problem I have is that I don't know what you mean by "the secretive notion of a city".

What is the secret? The definition of a city? Something about the city? The secrets the people in the city have?

It is true that a big city provides people with a level of anonymity, that lets them keep secrets, compared to a small town where everyone knows everyone else. Is that what you are referring to?

The first suggestion, by David Sudweeks, of a typewriter face, seemed like a very good one to me - but that relates to one specific kind of secrecy. The idea there is to suggest a telegram, perhaps sent in cipher, serving the purposes of diplomacy, espionage, or military activity.

But if that's not related to the images you wish to evoke, it may not work for you.

If it is the secrecy that results from big-city anonymity, you may, for example, want two faces that are so different that words in them look like they're "talking past each other".

Also, there's a display face made up of letters that look like cloaked people with caps on their heads...

JamesT's picture

If it's a city and secrets, I'd suggest something other than a typewriter face. In a city, I think of typewriters being used by reporters to expose the secrets of the city.

JamesM's picture

> the secretive notion of a city

I'm not sure what that means.

Nick Shinn's picture

Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities.

There's a passage in the book which reminded me of type:

Marco Polo describes a bridge, stone by stone.

“But which is the stone that supports the bridge?” Kublai Khan asks.
“The bridge is not supported by one stone or another,” Marco answers, “but by the line of the arch that they form.”
Kublai Khan remains silent, reflecting. Then he adds: “Why do you speak to me of the stones? It is only the arch that matters to me.” Polo answers: “Without stones there is no arch.”

mramir23's picture

I apologize for not clarifying myself. The challenge is to create a type-only representation of the city of Chicago and my chosen word is secrets. The type (symbols) can be used as icons (resembling, imitating: visual noise, height, space, &c.) or indexes (association: e.g. audible noise, power, direction, &c.) or in combination (icon/index).

I chose the word secrets because I am referring to the fact that a city provides people with a level of anonymity and also from my experience, I am not familiarized with many of Chicago's neighborhoods, history, etc. so I find the city to be very concealed at times.

But I do find beauty in this because I know that Chicago and many other cities in general have hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

The task really is to discover how the cities talk to me.

@Nick-thanks for the book referral, I will have to check it out soon.

mramir23's picture

@ quadibloc- I especially enjoy your idea of choosing two faces, totally different from each other that words in them look like they're "talking past each other"

Té Rowan's picture

Neutraface + F25 Telegraphem? Pretty disparate.

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