“Sorry, you can’t use that font, it’s licensed.”
— Me, constantly
As the lead designer at 350.org, it feels like I'm often telling climate organizers what they can't do. Example: a volunteer in Thailand is making posters for her local climate rally and she wants to know if I can send her a font I used — I have to tell her no, she can't use it unless she pays for a license herself.
Professional type designers deserve to be paid for their work, but most people working to stop climate change are volunteers — they’re never going to have hundreds of dollars to spend on font licenses, and they need good tools for visual communication more than anyone. So I made Klima. If you’re a climate organizer, an academic, an NGO, a student, anything that’s non-commercial and non-climate denial, you can use Klima for whatever you want. It’s for you.
One typeface, three weights, six fonts. Use Regular and Bold for paragraphs and longer passages of text. Black is best at larger sizes, like on banners, signs, or headlines.
Over one hundred Latin-alphabet languages supported (see below for full list).
Handy for pointing at things. On Windows, press alt+24 for up, alt+25 for down, alt+26 for right, and alt+27 for left.
Never have to worry about an un-subscripted 2 in CO2 again (in applications that support OpenType).
If you have any problems using Klima in one of these languages, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes, webfont files are included (.WOFF, .SVG, .TTF, .EOT) but beware — they are unhinted. That is to say, they are not optimized for smaller sizes or for older web browsers/operating systems.
I recommend using Klima at sizes 14px and larger, and specifiying a standard web font like Arial for browsers older than IE8, or if you have a significant percentage of users on older versions of the Windows operating system.
If you're reading this and you have expertise in fonts for the web (H&FJ, Tal Leming, Typekit, are you out there?), any advice you could offer would be great.
Klima's italics aren't ”true“ italics, they're obliques — but I'm calling them “italics” because Klima's intended audience is largely non-designers who probably don't care about the distinction.
Now, for my real shame: the obliques are just slanted forms of the romans (type designers, look away). In my opinion, the slanted obliques are surprisingly acceptable, but making optically-corrected, visually distinct italics is on my list of things to attempt in version 2.
Alternatives: As mentioned above, DIN was a big source of inspiration for Klima, so I my first tip would be to check out FF DIN. Here are some other typefaces that have similar qualities to Klima:
Generally, here are some type foundries I recommend:
Klima was drawn from scratch, but the design was definitely influenced by DIN 1451, a German typeface from 1931. DIN is now an open standard that's the basis for a number of typefaces (FF DIN, DIN Next, DIN Round, Parachute's DIN Text, and more).
Klima's proportions are wider and the curves are more relaxed than DIN, secondary characters like punctuation marks were drawn with a more humanistic style (the ampersand (&) and 'at' sign (@), for example), and quirks like the the tail on the lowercase 'l' have been removed for a more plainspoken feel.
That's Graph, another custom typeface that I've been working on. It's intended to be a more display-oriented companion to Klima, and will be released soon.
Download Klima ↓
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