Font Aid

Font Aid VIII: A Call to Action

A collaborative typeface for Nepalese earthquake relief

On 25 April 2015, a devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake occurred 80 kilometers outside Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal. The earthquake caused irreparable damage to people’s homes and to important historical sites — killing thousands of people in Nepal and the surrounding Himalayan region. Just two weeks later, another 7.3-magnitude earthquake rocked Nepal, 69 kilometers west of Namche Bazaar, close to Mount Everest. Shockwaves were felt as far away as Delhi, India and Dakha, Bangladesh. Since much of the region is made up of isolated towns and villages nestled in the mountains and foothills, the full scale of devastation is still unknown and numbers of those who have perished are still rising.

Symbols of compassion

A team of volunteers, led by Jo De Baerdemaeker and Rathna Ramanathan, and the Society of Typographic Aficionados is announcing the launch of Font Aid VIII, a project uniting design communities from across the world to raise funds to expedite relief efforts in Nepal. Please help by contributing to the font and by spreading the word.

Typeface designers, graphic designers, illustrators and other creatives from around the world are invited to contribute artwork to be included in a collaborative typeface created exclusively for the Font Aid VIII effort. This will take the form a digital font consisting entirely of variations and interpretations of the Om symbol.

The typeface will be accompanied by a publication — Building Letters Himalaya. This publication will be made available for sale, with all proceeds going entirely to Shangrila Home, a shelter for street children in Nepal.

The Society of Typographic Aficionados is acting as a non-partisan organizing body to help coordinate the effort and ensure all funds are distributed appropriately. The final typeface will be distributed exclusively by the Society of Typographic Aficionados under their standard End User License Agreement.

Why the Om?


Om is a mantra syllable and mystical sound of Hindu origin (geographically India and Nepal), sacred and important in various Dharmic philosophies and theologies such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism. The symbol is represented in a multitude of writing systems all over the Himalayan region and beyond.

How to participate

Create a single, black and white “Om” to be included in the collaborative font. The Om symbol can be expressed in a multitude of scripts, or even as an expression of sound. Your final design should be a vector outline file, not a bitmap. Please keep it as simple as possible.

Submission guidelines

Send the following to by Sunday, July 19th, 2015

Spread the word!

Whether you choose to participate or not, please help us tell others about the project.

We have prepared a series of Font Aid banners in several sizes for promoting this project. If you use one of these banners, all we ask is that you link back to the main Font Aid page. Thanks for your support.


Font Aid is a charitable endeavor. We wish to ensure that we provide the maximum support possible to the people and organization that need it. Any work submitted to a Font Aid project will be deemed a charitable gift and a work made for hire. Whenever possible, we are happy to credit the creativity of the participating designers.