Back in November 2012, there was a call for submissions for Font Aid VI: Aster Affects. In response to Hurricance Sandy, the SOTA (Society of Typographic Aficionados) organized this project to unite the typographic and design communities to raise funds for Red Cross. The project brief was to design a typeface consisting entirely of asterisks and other star-inspired symbols. From the brief:
An asterisk can denote something that requires attention — and an event of this magnitude and impact certainly deserves some attention. The asterisk can also provide *emphasis* to important information amidst fields of plain text. The root of the word comes from the Greek astēr or “star” - signifying hope and light. In computer terms, it’s a wildcard character … and hurricanes are certainly wild and unpredictable.I took to my sketchbook and started brainstorming. Above is some of my draft work (using my Alphabet 100 template), and below is my submission, which was accepted:
Included in my submission was this short rationale:
Wind, the flow of air, is one of the few forces of nature that we can only see by the objects that it touches. Wind can also deliver both joy and destruction. This asterisk glyph was inspired by two seemingly divergent objects that make this elusive, unpredictable force tangible: a hurricane and a pinwheel.Please support the Red Cross and purchase your copy of Font Aid VI: Aster Affects here.
The overall black shape represents the counter-clockwise motion of a hurricane, one of our planet's most unforgiving natural disasters. The spiralling segments are also evocative of a folded paper pinwheel, a memento of childhood that captures the otherwise innocence carried in wind. The hurricane/pinwheel motif draws the eye round and round, while simultaneously holding the 6-point asterisk shape in its negative space (like the eye of a storm).
Like the wind itself, the asterisk can only be seen by the objects that surround it. The glyph is designed to oscillate between black and white, between positive and negative. It is a reminder of nature's complexity: light cannot exist without shadow, good cannot exist with bad, and joy cannot exist without destruction.