Rue 32 Typeface

Respond Student Work

In Spring 2011, the US was mired in recession, the Arab Spring was just beginning, and there was an ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan. This project asks students to use design to engage with the world by creating a design artifact that responds to one of those topics in a design medium that the student wants to explore further.

Aaron Arnold created a typeface, Rue 32, on to respond to what he saw as “a growing trend in smaller, localized, non-financial economies. For instance, I’ve noticed more and more people becoming more resourceful through repurposing things they have lying around to save money, and I’ve noticed an increase in trading and bartering, as well as reselling used items.”

His typeface, therefore, reflects a small-scale, DIY ethic. It was created by tracing a number of vernacular type examples, examining them for commonalities, and deriving a system and creating an alphabet. The result is a typeface that refines the non-professional examples, but retains some of their informality.

Shown are examples of the final typeface, process images, and posters showing it in use.