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Bringing the world together through handwriting

With a total of 100 billion Cristal Ball Point pens produced, Bic is proud to call itself the creator of the ‘Universal Pen’.

To celebrate this, Bic, along with DDB, have created ‘The Universal Typeface Experiment’, “an ever changing, co-created and shareable cross section of the world’s handwriting”, according to DDB.

Through an interactive website (theuniversaltypeface.com) anyone in the world can contribute their handwriting to the experiment. Users have the option of using their phone, tablet or computer to add to the growing pot. Once a contribution has been made, an algorithm in the website’s backend adds this to the existing bunch and averages it all out. Thus, the Universal Typeface continually evolves. 

Users are also asked a few basic demographic questions about themselves such as age, gender and nationality. This information can then be used to see a range of different subsets of the Universal Typeface. 

The project has been going since June. So far 1,724,601 characters have been contributed across 147 different countries. 

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