The Vaccine Issue — ISTD 2021 Submission

  • Rowan Black

The ISTD, otherwise known as the International Society of Typographic Designers, is a professional body run by and for typographers and graphic designers. Every year they put together a selection of titles for applicants to choose from and develop a typographic piece for, and this year I chose the title 'Putting Things in Order,' a brief focusing on the ability to categorise items, people, or data, etc. For the Putting Things in Order brief, I opted to focus my subject matter to the vaccine race at the time, as they were beginning to roll out into the public sector. At the time, there was a lot of confusion as well as fear surrounding the vaccines, regarding safety and viability, due to the alarming rate at which they were being produced, and so the direction I went in was to help demystify them and urge people to think rationally pertaining them. As I researched the topic, I became more interested in suiting it to a more political viewpoint as well as scientific, as comparisons had been made between the race and the US/Russian Space Race, something that greatly intrigued me as an idea. Alongside this, I began the project already very much wanting to try designing a custom typeface, so as my research developed I made changes to it to better fit the narrative I was communicating. What I resulted with was a 3-weight modular typeface designed to replicate the idea of the ‘3 Stages’ of vaccine development, and I used this purposely to indicate progression through the information presented within the booklet. I named this typeface ‘Candidate,’ after the vaccines.