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These Philly-inspired fonts give back to each neighborhood

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PHL Open Type highlights the positives and unknowns of each neighborhood

A project that manages to touch on design, Philly, and goodwill all at once has launched this week and is already drawing neighborhood pride in an unexpected way: Through font design.

PHL Open Type is a collaborative venture led by local designer Phil Buckley, who brought on more than a dozen local designers to create a series of type faces inspired by the neighborhoods that they live in or grew up in. On July 7, the first set of fonts launched, including Callowhill, Point Breeze, Old City, and Queen Village.

The bonus? Each font can be purchased and downloaded using the pay-what-you-wish model. And all of the funds go toward local institutions in each respective neighborhood. The Old City font proceeds go toward PAWS, for example, while Callowhill’s funds will be donated to Project HOME.

In an interview on the podcast High-Res, Buckley said the goal of the project is highlight the positives and unknowns of each Philly neighborhood. Designer Kosal Sen, for example, created the Old City font and modeled it after the historic Bourse building. Buckley said, “I want people to give their insights to areas and use that to drive their creativity to show a piece of that neighborhood that no one really knows about that much.”

More neighborhood fonts are in the works and will be released in batches as the project continues.

The Old City font proceeds go toward PAWS.
by Kosal Sen
The Callowhill font proceeds will go toward Project HOME.
by Mike Balcerzak
The Point Breeze font proceeds will go toward the KIND Institute.
by Phil Buckley
The Queen Village font proceeds will support the Fleisher Art Memorial.
by Danny Kane