36 days of type: lessons in font history

April 8, 2020
Written By nataly capote

Arguably our favorite time of year at energyhill is when 36 Days of Type comes around, and our talented team of designers is able to get creative with this daily social media challenge. Last year, our team tackled the theme of the World's Fair of Typography. We each took on a different country and tried to convey it through our assigned letter or number. This year, we went with the theme of font history, to share our love for typeface design and its origins.

the 36 Days of type reputation

This is year seven of 36 Days of Type, and the hype has never been stronger. The project is based out of Barcelona and now has a partnership with Adobe, which has exploded its popularity even further. This year, Adobe is encouraging designers to experiment with AR, animation, and 3D art forms.

Through the hashtag #36daysoftype, judges choose the most impressive letters and numbers. This results in a social media feature, or for six lucky winners, a free one-year Creative Cloud subscription.

The stand-off with instagram

Marketing experts are constantly trying to stay on top of the latest Instagram algorithm. Instagram is currently looking for authentic, active social butterflies and blocking bots and spam accounts. Engagement, frequency, and communication are key to ensuring your account appears frequently to your followers, . As long as you don't overdo it.

Due to Instagram's ever-changing algorithm, this year's edition faced some issues. The platform is their main source for resharing content and featuring the work of designers. But because there was so much engagement from the account, Instagram called it out as spam, and blocked them from posting. This resulted in a brief hiccup for the challenge, which has thousands of participants across the world.


36 days of font history with energyhill

How much do you really know about Helvetica? Or Times New Roman? Going educational with our theme this year meant attempting to educate the public––and ourselves––on the origins of many well-known fonts.

We explored the depths and origins of Comic Sans, Arial, Papyrus, Futura, and more. Here are some interesting facts we found out about some famous fonts:

  • Neil Armstrong left a plaque featuring Futura font on the moon in 1969
  • Comic Sans is one of the most hated fonts in the world
  • The Swiss typographer who designed Helvetica was paid a flat fee, no royalties
  • The Declaration of Independence is printed in Caslon
  • Italics was invented by an Italian
  • Obama's 2008 campaign popularized Gotham

incorporating new brand colors

This year, the team wanted to keep the letters set cohesive. We recently updated our brand colors, so it was the perfect opportunity to incorporate it into the design. And although we put restrictions on the project, it didn't stifle the creativity of our designers. Everyone's unique style still came across, and patterns appeared throughout everyone's letter set.

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Our approach is simple: creating an authentic voice for your brand that connects with your audience. Our design services result in beautifully crafted experiences for your audience and create the foundation from which to launch your business. Learn more about our design services and how we can help your business grow.

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