Some time ago, the Girl Scouts of the USA approached me to discuss producing some “custom fonts” for them. Having been a scout in an earlier life and now having a young daughter about to enter into scouting, I jumped at the chance to see if I could help. I was curious where this might lead since I was familiar with Original Champions of Design’s fantastic revision to the Girl Scouts identity and their use of Joshua Darden’s ubiquitous Omnes as their everyday typeface—and I couldn’t complain with either execution, and wondered how I would fit in.
What unfolded over the next couple of months as we discussed the project was not the need for just a “custom font” but the desire to use type more prevalently in their communications to allow for them to create age-specific flexibility. It also became apparent that they didn’t want a single, custom typeface or family, but were looking to accomplish something I have not seen executed elsewhere… they wanted a suite of typefaces that could all interact connectively with each other. They needed it specifically branded to the Girl Scouts, so aggregating existing typefaces was out (I suggested that). The logic was sound, the Girl Scouts are tasked daily with producing an array of materials fit for ages ranging from young girls to young women (and that’s excluding their foundational endeavors). The premise was ambitious and a bit crazy… but I kinda like crazy. I respect what the principles of scouting teach, and loved and appreciated that they were seeking ways, typographically, to reach my young daughter. I was all in.