Tiny Hand Will Be Your New Comic Sans
BuzzFeed News made a font. Here's how (and why).
Yesterday, we published a wonderful piece of satire by James Hannaham, author of Delicious Foods. The piece itself took the form of one large image, purporting to be Donald Trump’s handwritten notes from the debate. Several readers noted the somewhat cryptic credit at the bottom of the image which referenced the font Tiny Hand.
Graphic designers, and those interested in typography, may have done a cursory search through their font libraries, only to discover they don’t have Tiny Hand. That’s because, until Friday morning, the Tiny Hand font didn’t exist. Those same readers investigating the details of the type might be curious: Why are the proportions so strange? Why is the font almost all capital letters? Who made it, and why?
On Wednesday morning, Saeed Jones, BuzzFeed News’ executive editor, sent me the first draft of Hannaham’s post. Naturally, I googled “Trump notes debate” to research visual cues we might use in order to help provide a visual identity for the story. The search yielded several examples of Trump’s...eccentric handwriting style. With only a cursory search — and more focused keywords — I was able to find other examples of his handwriting. Trump’s notes, written to friends and enemies alike, were almost always written at an angle, scrawled on top of printouts of articles from the internet. (This, apparently, is something he does with some frequency.) I was struck not only by the peculiar delivery of the notes, but also by the idiosyncratic way Trump writes the alphabet. At that moment it was clear to me — as it surely must be to you, dear reader — I had to make a font based on Donald Trump’s handwriting.
When my colleague Mark Davis, a typographer with experience designing typefaces for Font Bureau, arrived later that morning, he immediately got to work digitizing the letters, and parsing Trump’s handwriting into a font, with variants for many of the letters. It was a Herculean task, but Davis cranked through it, and we were able to start setting the text by Thursday evening.
Now, for the first time ever, BuzzFeed News is making available a typeface, which you are free to download here. Now go forth, and write "bigly" with our Tiny Hand.