Admittedly it’s controversial, but it’s a concept graphic arts and type-face nerds may have considered – what thought process goes into making the Westboro Baptist Church’s signage.
We are sadly all to familiar with their signs in this day in age. But interestingly Westboro has been using the same type-face and messaging since their first funeral protest in 1991. But Emmet Byrne, the Design Director at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and a gay man, MN, managed to spark up a dialog with WBC’s media director Steve Drain about the origin of the very visible messages.
Emmet Byrne: When you were designing your signs, how did you choose the typeface, and was the graphic style (color, layout) referencing past historical models, such as old political campaign signs? Or did they just develop as you went along? How did you decide what typeface the word of God should be rendered in?
Steve Drain: We use Boulder (ttf). It’s what our pastor just settled on years ago — and since it is very readable, yet not commonly used, I always thought it gave us a distinctive look. Every once in a while, if it is topically warranted, we vary from Boulder, but not often.
You can and should read the rest of the interview here – obviously we don’t condone the message this hate church spreads, but their messaging and branding has made a lasting impact on the world (think of how the Nazi’s corrupted the Swastika) perhaps Boulder, while barely used as is, will forever find itself in the annals of lost-type-face along side Comic Sans.