Variable Typeface
Uppercase and lowercase glyphs
2 weights
DM Serif Kudzu

The intent of this original typeface is a critical commentary on the invasive nature of colonization.

DM Serif Kudzu is an Invasive variable typeface built within the framework of the open-source typeface DM Serif by Colophon and Frank Grießhammer for Google fonts. The typeface DM Serif was selected because it is extremely clean and legible which provides a high level of contrast to the full growth Kudzu axis. The historical context comes from Colophon being a US/UK based foundry and Google being founded in the US, two of the largest colonizing countries in the world.

Using a variable growth matrix, the glyphs overgrow the legible forms creating pages of illegible type. Using multiple intermediates, the lowercase letters have the appearance of growing along non-linear paths, like vines. Some letters have up to 10 intermediates to achieve this effect. The Glyph Set also includes various stylistic alternates and ligatures. The alternates provide variation in growth when two letters are repeated or in proximity. The alternates are a mix of stunted growth glyphs and glyphs where growth moves in a different direction that the original. There are also ligatures that automatically shift a character into its fully grown setting regardless of the location of the surrounding type.
Stylistic alternatives

The output of this type-experiment is a Python script that allows the user to add their text to a Drawbot file and exports it as PDFs in which the growth matrix increases and the color slowly shifts to green as each new page is added. To test this code, I typeset a copy of the US Constitution as the type specimen. As the text moves to a new page across the booklet, the typeface grows progressively more deformed and illegible.

© 2023 Jenni Oughton
Last updated 04/2023