Baldinn is a modular typeface that can be modified and used at will (open source). The font is designed with the size proportions of a paint roll in mind, i.e. the size of the grid into which the font is drawn is based on the average size of the paint roll. Such a design makes it relatively easy for people to sketch and paint the font on the walls without relying on anything other than the paint roller itself.
The word “Baldinn” is an old Icelandic adjective for someone who is considered disobedient, wild and powerful. The name of the font therefore stands for the motivation behind actions such as civil disobedience and the power that lies in conveying messages in public spaces.
The font was first used in a performance intended to draw attention to the collection of signatures in support of the New Constitution, which was organized by the Women’s Association for a New Constitution. The question: “Where is the new constitution?” was painted in this font on a concrete wall which is a little higher than an average person, next to the Ministry of Industry and Innovation. It can be said that the performance was a great success. Authorities responded immediately and had the wall cleaned at the earliest opportunity. As a result, there was a great deal of media coverage of the case, which also provoked further public reaction, and the collection of signatures took off. The performance was repeated the next day on another wall a short distance away, and the message has been there ever since.
It is interesting to pause a little and look at the reactions of the public. Of course, support for the cause had a major impact. Opinion polls have repeatedly shown that over 60% of Icelanders support the New Constitution. However, it is clear that the work was much better received than traditional graffiti with the same message. It can therefore be assumed that the font itself speaks strongly to people and is particularly suitable for conveying messages in public spaces.
The positive response and great solidarity that the performance received sparked the idea to give those who want to contribute to the cause with direct action a tool in their hands. To many it may sound simple enough to paint a font on a wall. However, it can be quite complicated to do it well and form a coherent sentence. As a consequence, the font Baldinn was drawn and published on an interactive website where you can get instructions on how best to paint a message on walls.
On the website baldinn.com you can enter the size of the wall to be painted, enter the message that should be on the wall and choose the font that suits you. You can choose between three sizes of grids based on a 5 cm, 10 cm or 25 cm paint roller. You can also change the colours of fonts, shadows and backgrounds. When the user is satisfied with the sketch, it can be printed out and referred to when the wall is painted.
The project is intended to further open up the debate on the New Constitution but also to encourage people to contribute. The New Constitution is a major democratic issue that concerns all those living in Iceland. The discussion must be kept alive so that it is not swept under the rug, or high pressure washed away. Where better to discuss a big issue like this than in public spaces?