Notes and findings about Barnbrook & Virus Fonts. To be updated as and when.

Initially, the web designer in me had a small heart attack. You NEVER see sites like this in galleries or showcases and yet there’s something very appealing about it. To an extent it follows “web design principles” and then it seems to subvert them. The red on black, very jarring, almost dated. It has an air of “inside-the-computer” about it from early web design. I’m not saying this is wrong, it’s refreshing after years of looking at perfectly manicured – gradient filled – shadow websites, and of course the visual works well with their brand – Virus Fonts.

Virus Fonts - What is anti design?

Virus Fonts. (n.d.). What is Anti Design? Retrieved October 27 2010, from

I particularly like their work on “anti-design”. The poster is chaos, but it’s still beautiful and fulfils it’s purpose – therefore it’s a successful design. So is that really anti-design? I don’t know, but I like the questions it raises, and how it can make you think. There’s also a fantastic – slightly eye-popping – animation here: It’s an excellent play with type, and again follows the inside-the-computer look. The choice of typography is key here. The way it’s animated, and the white on black emphasises that further.

Virus Fonts font list

Virus Fonts. (n.d.). What is Anti Design? Retrieved October 27 2010, from

Oh if I had a million pounds. some of these are absolutely gorgeous and put my font library to shame. The way they’re named as well, evokes it’s own meaning. A lot of fonts are given the creator’s name, not these. They have their own identity – their name and what they communicate on their own.

From the about page…

“The starting point for the name was the quote, “Language is a virus from outer space” attributed to William Burroughs and also Neville Brody’s statement that style is a virus and we only really need one typeface. The other important theme was the relatively new phenomenon (then) of the computer virus – a metaphor for the subversive power of typography. Small foundries were springing up and producing fonts which were directly commenting on society.”

Virus Fonts. (n.d.). About. Retrieved October 27, 2010, from

There’s a few key things in here. First of all, I clearly need to look up Brody. The second is the notion of the “subversive power of typography” and it “commenting on society”. I’m going to mull this over and come back to it.