As a self-proclaimed “proud dyslexic,” Shantell has always had an interesting relationship with fonts and typography. She explains, “I always wanted to reclaim that space due to my dyslexia, and defeat my past challenges. The creation of my font was an innate process and an extension of my artwork, and something I always wanted to do”. Martin always writes in all caps so that her handwriting is more readable and describes her writing style as “bold, playful, clear to read, and, in a way, feels very much like my drawings.”
Two years ago Shantell decided to finally look into how to create her font, which led her to commission designers Arrow Type, and Anya Danilova to bring the idea of Shantell Sans to life; Shantell Sans is a marker-style font built for creative expression, typographic play, and animation. It includes Latin and Cyrillic characters to support a wide array of languages throughout the Americas, Europe, Central Asia, and Vietnam.
The font can be adjusted by weight, spacing, informality, bounce, and italics. Arrow Type’s Stephen Nixon says, “Shantell’s handwriting was already right there in her work, and perfectly suited as a starting point for a really interesting typeface!” Nixon describes Shantell Sans as “fun, welcoming, energetic, approachable, and creative" and says, “I love that Shantell was excited about the idea of making this font available to everyone.” “I think fonts can really change the mood of a person in the way that they can be dense and limiting, or, on another hand, open and playful. I think we do pick up on these subtle messages on a subconscious level. I wanted to share my work in a new exciting medium accessible to anyone,” Shantell further elaborates.
To learn more about the making of Shantell Sans, check out its website at: shantellsans.com, and to download the font, visit github.com/arrowtype/shantell-sans. Shantell Sans is now available (with over 4 million downloads!) on Google Fonts (for Google Docs).