When you were a kid, did you ever try to make up your own language or a secret code that only you and your friends were privy to? Then you can surely appreciate what former NSA contractor, Sang Mun, has tried to do: Design a surveillance-proof font.

Mun says he was inspired to create typography that was illegible to Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems (used by government agencies, hackers, even Google) after recent reports in the media exposed various forms of cyber-privacy violations worldwide. The typeface is called ZXX and includes four different fonts: Camo, False, Noise and Xed. Each font uses its own optical trick, like camouflage-like patterns over the letters or overlaying the letters with small dots, to keep the scanners from interpreting the text. Mun told CNN, “The challenge was to make the OCR-legible typeface illegible to computer vision, while keeping it readable to the human eye.”

Mun’s design is a step in the right direction and it definitely gets a round of applause for ingenuity; but critics are saying that the typeface has its flaws and that if the NSA, or any other government agency, wanted to interpret a text, these fonts couldn’t stop them.

Read the full article at CNN.com.


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Category: Typography