Your browser does not fully support this website. It’s time to upgrade!

Graham Bradley

Bacterium Typeface

Bacterium Typeface Capitals 1 Bacterium Typeface Capitals 2 Bacterium Typeface Capitals 3

September 2014


Alexander Isley

The bacterium typeface was commissioned by Alexander Isley for the 2014 TEDMED conference. Bacterium made a wide range of branded materials feasible, and was used throughout the conference—everywhere from signage to posters to the screen on the main stage. The letters in the typeface not only look like amoebas, they also change shape like amoebas.

Bacterium automatically substitutes characters to achieve its organic, malleable look. Multiple versions of each character are swapped in and out as the user types with the font. A custom tool, written in Python, outputs the OpenType substitution code that makes this possible. The typeface pushes against the limits of expected letter construction in order to achieve the necessary variety of shapes.

Bacterium Typeface Specimen Large
Bacterium Typeface Specimen Small
Bacterium Typeface Specimen Mixed
Bacterium Typeface Alternates A
Bacterium Typeface Alternates B
Bacterium Typeface Alternates D
Bacterium Typeface Alternates G
Bacterium Typeface Alternates K
Bacterium Typeface Alternates S
Bacterium Typeface Alternates 2
Bacterium Typeface Alternates 5
Bacterium includes three versions of each letter and number.
Bacterium Speaker Banners Elizabeth Nabel
Bacterium Speaker Banners Joshua Roman
Speaker banners, designed by Alexander Isley Inc.
Bacterium Word Search Pattern 1 Bacterium Word Search Pattern 2 Bacterium Word Search Pattern 3
Patterns using Bacterium (and full of Easter eggs), designed by Alexander Isley Inc.