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Typography Video Game Takes Players Through Various Font Levels

Type:Rider lets people navigate through Times of Comic Sana to learn the story behind each one.

Sara Boboltz
Sara Boboltz on October 15, 2013. @sara_bee

Wannabe type nerds, rejoice: there’s a video game that will teach you the history of the most predominant typefaces. Garamond, Times, Helvetica — and yes, even Comic Sans — are represented in Type:Rider as separate levels. Players explore through their avatar, a colon tipped sideways to resemble wheels on a bike.

Generally, each level is painted with the brush of whatever period in art history the typeface sprang from. Times, for example, takes players on a tour of the Roaring Twenties, whereas in Clarendon’s level, the colon goes for a ride through the American Old West. Other levels in the game include Didot, Helvetica, and Pixel, which incorporates the fonts of computer operating systems.

The levels are structured much like in ‘Sonic the Hedgehog,’ with jumps, obstacles, and power-up opportunities. But instead of land, the colon must navigate a terrain of letterforms — lily pad R’s or a winding path of S’s. And instead of gold rings, the player collects pages of a detailed history on the typeface, which can be re-read in their entirety at the game’s completion.

Theo Le Du Fuentes, a Parisian designer and one of the game’s creators, explained that the goal of the project was to teach mindfulness of typography.

We’re not trying to teach people to be experts in type in Type:Rider, but I think it’s important to know that it’s a complex art with a long history.

The first five levels are available to play through Type:Rider‘s site, and the full game is available for iOS and Android from $2.99.

FastCo Design

Images via Fast Company.

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