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Text written by
Stefan Ivanov

Visuals by
Studio FourPlus
Type Forward

A story about a Geometric Sans Serif Typeface

I’m Oddval and I come from the Valley of Odd. It’s an interesting zone, the birds here sing a pretty song, there’s always music in the air and sometimes it’s sunny at night and snowy in August. I like it here.

I’m visually oval and curvy but I’m literally really fit and healthy. I like weights, that’s why I support and lift so many of them. In my family, we come in all shapes and sizes, we are diverse and good shapeshifters. 


I should warn you, though you may already know, that I have a special relationship with ink. I love ink. I possess an heirloom – a massive collection of inkwells, each one intricately portraying my siblings. When I gaze upon it, I see ink that is trapped, longing to be liberated, so it can once more cascade freely and assume the distinct semblance of an accurate portrayal of my kin, no blots attached.


I work with that favourite liquid, wait, no, that’s not the right word. I transform ink, no, that’s not it either. I got it. Eureka. We dance together. Танцуваме. Χορεύουμε.

Work, for me, is a dance with both letters and symbols. I’m the type that is open to working with a lot of libraries where I find even the most obscure emblems, insigniae and seals, so to speak.
And I know a lot of dance moves. I dance in more than two hundred languages in one hundred ninety-five countries. Every page is a stage.


It’s a gentle and intimate territory. When we dance, I dress in paper and cardboard. When we dance, I hear words that swim in silence. I find true meanings and we make something new, something that doesn’t yet exist.


Occasionally, the things I do are small. But important and beautiful. Like that index finger. It points in the right direction. Where I’m at hand. I’m a part of the force that keeps things whole. Wherever I am, I am present. I enjoy to move and I move so that I can stand still for as long as I can. Your eyes can follow my steps and my movements and come to the place where I am standing. Right now. Right here.


I cherish that split second in the dance when ideas, concepts and suggestions come into motion. I fancy the duende of it and I adore untranslatable words.

If somebody doesn’t want to dance or isn’t ready – I wait. I have a lot of time, a kalpa of time. In Hinduism, a kalpa is equal to 4.32 billion years. I put on my Turkish kalpak and I listen, and I wait. And it happens. While waiting I imagine wearing a different hat. And I make lists.


And I appreciate my humans behind the ink. One time, I even made one purrrrrr. I appreciate them, but I can’t explain them.
They’re like an untranslatable word. But we dance together. I think we have a mutual understanding.

When we don’t dance I feel like ants crawl on my feet. I mean, I like ants, they’re like tiny moving letters. I just can’t stand still, I always want to participate in a new choreography.


Besides dancing I yearn to unfold through the day. Every day is a long and winding page and I like to read it whole. I wake up early to experience the stillness of the morning and appreciate the beauty of the Valley of Odd. This habit of mine is called gökotta in Swedish. Then I read the paper.


Later I learn to observe birds. I try to befriend both boredom and excitement. I sleep whenever I can. I laugh a lot. I float in the sunlight. I like wearing mismatched socks. I create elaborate handwritten letters and I send them. I organize my personal library by scent and emotion. I write poems on napkins and I give them to my friends. I often organize themed movie nights, we watch movies with great title sequences, everyone invited comes dressed as their chosen title. 


I believe in the motley nature of life. I believe that the rainbow is the first evidence of the meaning of life. Today my preferred hat is a spectacular, multi-layered, and brightly colored chapeau that defies gravity. It hovers a few inches above my head and serves as a home to a curious assortment of miniature creatures, from tiny songbirds and ducks to fluttering butterflies.


Here, in the Valley of Odd, the frog is melancholic only for a short period of time in the afternoon, wine is sentient and the lemon is like a cathedral. When you have an idea in your head, there are fireworks in the sky. It’s different here.


Here, I have a comfortable and beautiful house, a rocking chair in the garden with W-shaped wisteria, bioluminescent tulips, levitating rocks, upside-down waterfall, ∞-shaped black bees that make black honey sweet as treacle. And when I’m in my hammock, I’m free of all care. I have no debts. I’m happy. I’m not waiting for anything. Things happen one after the other. I lead a life without lies and false promises. I give myself over to the days and the dances without regret. I’m calm.


I can do a lot of things. I can imagine even more. I could keep going. But “I” is the ninth letter and I have used the pronoun “I” more than nine times today and this makes me feel uncomfortable.

That’s why, I prefer “we”.

I need you so that we can do a lot of things as partners. Put on your dancing shoes and let’s dance through the blank space together.


Get Oddval SemiBold and SemiBold Italic, and Oddval Text SemiBold and SemiBold Italic for absolutely free!

And, yes, you can use them on every personal or commercial project you decide. 

Would you like to get the entire portfolio Oddval has to offer?

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