Preventing Fake News is Getting Creative

BY Elizabeth Carlson (’17)

Does the type in the feature image of this post look like hieroglyphics? Find out here about a new typeface to get readers to stop and read items before sharing. Then see if you can decipher the letters!

“Fake News” continues to make news. I previously posted about fake news and how Facebook and The News Literacy Project were teaming up to prevent fake news from spreading. Adweek recently posted an article titled, “These Ads About Fake News Make You Work a Little, Just as You Should Before Sharing Stories Online.”

They have come up with an intricate typeface to make readers stop and really read what the letters are. The article asserts that we are in an era of “share-before-reading.” This means that people read the title of an article and share it without actually reading it. This can be a problem, because sometimes the title has nothing to do with the actual article.

The News Literacy Project wanted to make a difference. So they teamed up with J. Walter Thompson (JWT) New York, part of an international advertising agency group. They came up with #SeeAlltheAngles, presenting a typeface that requires careful reading to determine the meaning. The article says, “The campaign puts a literal spin on lettering, by flipping letters on their sides. (Imagine if all letters were three-dimensional, then turned to the right.)” Very, very clever!

Here is the alphabet that was created for the campaign as it appears in Adweek:

Aaron Padin, head of art and design at JWT New York says, “The time it takes them to decipher the font mimics the amount of time and care readers should take when reading and internalizing a typical news headline.” This is such a clever way to get a message across to people.

Along with the campaign, the literacy project created a mobile app called “Headline Maker” that lets journalists and educators create headlines with the “typeside font.” Then after they create the headline they are able to use #SeeAlltheAngles in their articles.

The mission of the New Literacy Project is not to tell the younger generation what to trust, but rather give them the knowledge and skills to be able to discover what is real and fake news. That is why NLP was so grateful with partnering with JWT.

As a graphic design major, I love typography and looking at different ways people create type. When I saw this article it caught my eye right away and I had to read about it. Of course, I looked at the first image of the article for a while, trying to figure out what it said before reading the article about why they chose to create it this way.

This new creative technique may just teach a lesson to those who just share without reading the whole article.

Adweek Full Article (the feature image and image within the post come from the article)

The type in the featured image of this post says, “Read Me Carefully.”


2016-09-30-fyf-elizabeth-carlson-dsc_0057-thumbnailElizabeth is a senior graphic design major and an advertising minor. When she is not in the classroom, she is Assistant Design Editor for The Wood Word, or she is playing for the women’s soccer team at Marywood. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s