Fonts: these activists for inclusion


Who would believe that a typeface could carry a political message? And yet, typography has a much bigger influence than you might think. Omnipresent in our daily lives, they express emotions, refer to cultural codes, convey universes, and carry committed messages. At a time when debates around inclusive writing are opening up new avenues towards more equality, let us question the role of creatives and designers in this fight for more inclusion.

Include to transform … for the better

It is no longer time to remember that diversity is a source of creativity, performance and is beneficial for everyone: companies, individuals and society. According to a Deloitte study: companies engaged in an inclusion process have nearly 60% more chances of seeing their profits and productivity increase and improving their brand image. But this inclusive approach is struggling to find its reality : 57% of 18-34 year olds believe that their company should increase diversity and inclusion in the workplace (according to the same study).

The efforts to be made are at all levels of the company, and go beyond the simple stage of recruitment. This requires in particular more flexibility in the organization of work, in order to boost autonomy, initiative and collaboration between the different teams. A more inclusive social policy also means better complementarity between the private and professional lives of individuals. Take advantage of singularities to innovate, question corporate cultures, encourage all talents, offer visibility to figures of diversity… There are many avenues of exploration.

Creatives, not really avant-garde on the subject of inclusion

In the collective imagination, artists, creatives and designers are seen as being more avant-garde than others on social issues. They can trigger trends, change currents and ideas… But when it comes to inclusion, this is not the case: the design industry is indeed currently made up of 73% of white individuals.. It’s time to turn the tide and be proactive. This requires in particular more openness in the choice of typography. Creative teams may choose to embark on an intentional approach to inclusion and equal opportunity, for example by incorporating more fonts created by designers of color or from minority backgrounds.

The idea of ​​true inclusion goes, according to anthropologist Charles Gardou, beyond integration, since it implies not an adaptation of the integrated person but the capacity of the group to make an appropriate place for him. A vision that should also be applied in the creative world, for a better representation of the diversity of talents, and thus to participate in a global change of mentalities at the societal level.

Inclusive to the end of the letters

Taking diversity into account is the whole purpose of inclusive writing which conveys the idea of ​​a better representativeness of genres in the French language. Its positioning is eminently political in an era which questions the place of women and equality in society. Who says desire for representativeness says visual translation and therefore typographical reality. To avoid the frequent use of “-. »To signify the inclusiveness of a text, an art student has just created a dedicated handwriting font, which merges feminine and masculine endings with new characters. A concrete example of the contribution of graphic design in the debates of society in general, this one in particular.

For more equality, collective vision and creativity, the idea of ​​inclusion must find its reality at all levels of society and companies. Fonts also have a role to play in the democratization of inclusive approaches. They can (and must?) Convey a committed and engaging message, thus giving back to the creative professions all their capacity to enlighten and question the world of today.