Perhaps I was prompted by the death of Jamie Reid in 2023, and recalled his “ransom note” typography for the Sex Pistols in the late 1970s. At any rate, I was pursuing extreme contrasts of contextuality and it occurred to me that I could use the four-alternates coding I’d created for Duffy Script to create that kind of effect, hence Polypraxia. It wasn’t quite so simple as I had expected—in order for whatever combination of letters being set in the font to appear reasonably consistent, the four styles have to be distinct enough to look like four different styles, and yet still possess a modicum of even colour, without a pseudo-random sequence of glyphs looking like they all belong to the same style, or the odd glyph jumping out as markedly different from the rest. Thus the four styles are the same bold weight, in (1) a condensed didone, (2) a condensed grotesque, (3) a humanist sans, and (4) a caps-with-small-caps geometric sans. It would seem that for typography some persistence of fluency is required, even in a “disfluent” font. As ever, a balance of unity and variety.

Polypraxia.     Buy license at Shinntype.