Sans Surveillance Sans
9 October 2019

Sans Surveillance Sans – Cambridge Analytica
(2019)

The present video was subtitled using Sans Surveillance Sans. Sans Surveillance Sans is a typeface I designed to raise questions about today’s ubiquitous surveillance and the Orwellian rhetorical figures of speech attached to it. We are living the age of Surveillance Capitalism. Yet, political leaders, government agencies, and the industrial complex shaping the surveillance apparatus, prefer to market their programmes and technologies under appealing buzzwords – while failing to acknowledge the resulting societal risks.

Exploiting ligatures in a liberal way, Sans Surveillance Sans automatically replaces oxymorons, euphemisms, and technical jargon, as they are written, with more straightforward language. While traditional typeface designers use ligatures to improve the legibility of texts, here I go one step further and use ligatures to improve our ability to make sense of the world we live in. 

This is how big-data becomes big surveillance. Ditto for lawful interception, data collection, and other keywords in use today. The next time you read or hear something that sounds too opaque, too innocuous, or simply too good, try typing those words in Sans Surveillance Sans, and let this typeface do the translation for you.

The original video – Cambridge Analytica – The Power of Big Data and Psychographics – is distributed under a Creative Commons license by Concordia. Here I appropriated an excerpt of it, and I reframed it under the lens of my typeface. The typeface will be released at a later date.