Now a Font for Making Sense of Thailand’s Censorship

The new, entirely illegible 'Vain' font as featured online Monday. Photo: F0nt / Facebook

BANGKOK — A new font that makes words entirely unreadable has been launched to support censorship in the kingdom, ironically.

Thailand’s biggest site for free fonts introduced Monday a new illegible font called “Vain” which creator Sungsit Sawaiwan said is meant to encourage the shameless censorship taking place in the country.

“Vain is an ideal font for authoritarianism under which people are not allowed to freely express their views, especially in a country where the military government wants its citizen to keep silent,” wrote the typographer.

Unlike other fonts, every character in Vain appears as a small bold square which cannot be read.

Sungsit recommended the font for government records not meant to be read by the public. He added that normal people can use it for self-censorship when they want to criticize the government, or to conceal the hateful speech they would like to express.

 

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Two days since release, the font has proved a hit online.

“So one can write but no one can read!” wrote Facebook user Korndanai Akawat. “The aims of this font are to allow one to use as a mock-up in design, as well as to highlight the censorship existing here.”

Though typographer Sungsit said he does not guarantee the government would be pleased if they could read his source code.