Universal Typeface Experiment

Universal Typeface website landing page
Universal Typeface website landing page

The Universal Typeface Experiment is a promotional website sponsored by Société Bic, the Bic pen’s manufacturer. The website crowdsources a typeface from smartphone users who use a touchpad and a newly modified BIC pen named the Crystal Stylus, a touchpad-friendly rubber tip, to enter their handwriting on the website.

Although it is possible to participate with one’s fingertips, writing with a pen is much more convenient. Regardless of this distinction, the website requires contributors to sign in and answer some demographic questions, allowing for the automated collection of handwriting statistics that prompted a Smithsonian post. The user prompt, in which the user is presented with 26 capital letters in random order in the Arial font, significantly influences the downloadable font developed by this averaged handwriting experiment. Regional variations are nevertheless discernible within the confines of this self-selection bias.

The website, created by the Dutch ad agency MediaMonks and hosted by Tribal DDB, was initially intended as a product launch and was set to be taken down in August 2014. The Favorite Website Awards (FWA) awarded it “Site of the Month,” and it was still live and welcoming contributions in January 2015.


Wikipedia contributors. (2020, December 13). Universal Typeface Experiment. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 01:19, April 2, 2021, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Universal_Typeface_Experiment&oldid=993912129

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