Otherwhere Collective

POLY
MONO

POLY
MONO

OC POLY MONO

The world's first mega-ligature multi-color geometric shape game font. Inspired by 8 bit video games and the prints of Karel Martens, POLY(color) MONO(space) explores what a font can be; its purpose, potential, and how we interact with it.
How to Play
Each letter of the alphabet is assigned its own shape; repeatedly typing the same character changes the color and rotation of that shape. Changing letter moves onto the next perfectly tiled block. The period and comma freeze a shape in place so it may be repeated next to itself, and the space bar skips a block to leave a gap. With unpredictable color and rotation changes, users are encouraged to switch off logic, engaging in an instinctive and playful process to craft beautiful, serendipitous designs. This innovation hints at exciting applications for brands, showcasing the font’s versatility in creating distinctive visual identities.

Summary:
Keep hitting the same key to reveal color and orientation variations of the same glyph. 
Hypen, comma, and period freeze a block in space. 
Space is a space.
Return to drop a line.
Only alphabet and numbers have assigned shapes.
Marten is ; and ‘

What’s a mega-ligature anyway?
OK so a ligature is a special glyph in a font that combines two (or more) characters into one. Usually there are a handful like “f-t”,which joins the crossbars of the f and t and tightens the space, so words like “after” look a bit nicer.
That’s generally as far as ligatures are used, and in a serif font they’ll typically go as far as something like three letter ligatures such as “f-f-i”, for example. Cool right?
Yes! But what if we pushed the boundaries of ligatures? What if instead of just combining characters, we used them to transform glyphs in new ways? POLY MONO is all about exploring these questions. Instead of simply combining characters, we’re experimenting with mega-ligatures™ that can join up to eight instances of the same letter. But rather than creating a new glyph, we’re modifying the existing one by rotating it and changing its color. Plus, we’re swapping out the alphabet for geometric shapes. Fun!
Definitions

POLY
A prefix derived from Greek, meaning “many” or “multiple.”

In this case “many” colors used to cycle through the font.

MONO
Another prefix derived from Greek, meaning “one” or “single.”

In this case “one” consistent width (or space) for each character in the font.

MEGA
Another prefix derived from Greek, meaning “large” or “great.”

In this case ligatures made to combine an unusually “large” number of characters.

Free Download

Download the font and play, make, type, jump, and explore to your heart's content.

OC POLY MONO

The world’s first mega-ligature multi-color geometric shape game font. Inspired by 8 bit video games and the prints of Karel Martens, POLY(color) MONO(space) explores what a font can be; its purpose, potential, and how we interact with it.

Each letter of the alphabet is assigned its own shape; repeatedly typing the same character changes the color and rotation of that shape. Changing letter moves onto the next perfectly tiled block. The period and comma freeze a shape in place so it may be repeated next to itself, and the space bar skips a block to leave a gap. With unpredictable color and rotation changes, users are encouraged to switch off logic, engaging in an instinctive and playful process to craft beautiful, serendipitous designs. This innovation hints at exciting applications for brands, showcasing the font’s versatility in creating distinctive visual identities.

Toolbar Key

OVERVIEW

abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890
OVERVIEW
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz
1234567890
OC POLY MONO how to play monospace mega ligature color font game keyboard diagram instructions
OC POLY MONO how to play monospace mega ligature color font game keyboard diagram instructions
OC POLY MONO monospace mega ligature color font game layout example designs
OC POLY MONO monospace mega ligature color font game layout example designs

NUMBERS

Every ligature typed from one through zero ● Every ligature typed from one through zero ●

LETTERS

Every ligature typed in order of the QWERTY keyboard ● Every ligature typed in order of the QWERTY keyboard ●

MARTEN

Typed using the ; and ' keys ● Typed using the ; and ' keys ●

mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''
mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''mmqqqqqqklfjjjjjjtennnnn;.;;''
FOR FULL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE BEST VIEWED ON DESKTOP FOR FULL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE BEST VIEWED ON DESKTOP FOR FULL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE BEST VIEWED ON DESKTOP FOR FULL INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCE BEST VIEWED ON DESKTOP

OG TESTER

PPPPPOOOOOOOOLLLLLYY
MMOOOOOOONNNNNNNNOOO
OG TESTER
PPPPPOOOOOOOOLLLLLYY
MMOOOOOOONNNNNNNNOOO

FULL WIDTH TESTER

55poooooojjjjjm.mmmmmm

WATERFALL

Opentype
coffees

SPECIMEN SHEET

Curiosity is a very important thing for a human being. If you see a book on the shelf, you should become curious. Absence in design is very important, the things you don't see. But designers can offer a set of ingredients and allude to certain things. Karel Martens
Curiosity is a very important thing for a human being. If you see a book on the shelf, you should become curious. Absence in design is very important, the things you don't see. But designers can offer a set of ingredients and allude to certain things. Karel Martens
Curiosity is a very important thing for a human being. If you see a book on the shelf, you should become curious. Absence in design is very important, the things you don't see. But designers can offer a set of ingredients and allude to certain things. Karel Martens

Language Support & Glyph Styles

Universal
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789;

Free Download

Download the font and play, make, type, jump, and explore to your heart's content. Zip includes Type Specimen PDF

Language Support
Universal
abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz0123456789;
Free Download
Download the font and play, make, type, jump, and explore to your heart's content.

Bespoke Services

If you love an Otherwhere font and feel that some customization will make it even more perfect for you or your client's needs get in touch we'd love to discuss it with you. ♥
• Color Customization
• Glyph Set Extension
• Wordmark Design
• Font Customization
• Font From Scratch

Reference

Karel Martens (born 1939) is a Dutch graphic designer, specialized in typography.

Many of Martens’ work ranges from posters, to prints and to editorials, but all have a strong emphasis on typography. He has always been fascinated with language, mathematics and color and he finds a way to incorporate all these interests into his designs.

See more at:
https://martens-martens.com/

And a good read at It’s Nice That:
Karel Martens on paying attention to the things we don’t see



The reference images are from the book “Small Prints“. It features a sequence of unique letterpress monoprints, made by Karel Martens between 2014 and 2022. It’s a delightful exploration of color, composition, and geometric possibilities. 

We got our copy at Katherine Small Gallery.

Super Mario Bros. is a platform game developed and published in 1985 by Nintendo for the Famicom in Japan and for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) in North America. 

Players control Mario to explore the Mushroom Kingdom to rescue Princess Toadstool from King Koopa (later named Bowser). They traverse side-scrolling stages while avoiding hazards such as enemies and pits with the aid of power-ups such as the Super Mushroom, Fire Flower, and Starman.

poly mono super mario 8bit monospace color font gameplay

Our hero Marten is a typed entirely using PRIXEL MONO, so, he’s… a font within a font. As a character in POLY MONO he’s a mega-ligature, so tap his keys repeatedly and you can make him run on the spot or jump in your design app or web browser.

Download PRIXEL MONO here, set the text solid (line height = font size) and type lower case keys to create shapes. See what else you can come up with and share your results! 

Our hero Marten is a typed entirely using PRIXEL MONO, so, he’s… a font within a font. As a character in POLY MONO he’s a mega-ligature, so tap his keys repeatedly and you can make him run on the spot or jump in your design app or web browser.

     e⎺⎺⎺⎺r
        
     aaaaaa
   e⎺      ⎺⎺r
   ⎺aaaz⎺⎺⎺h⎺⎺
   azaa  q  ⎺⎺r
   axaa   ax  y
   ia    iaaao
           y
  uaaa⎺⎺aah⎺
  aaaa   a a⎺⎺⎺h
l⎺  aa w  waa  j
k⎽jh       ⎹ aa
   l        aaa
  l         aaa
aa  ⎽j⎺h⎽⎽⎽aaa
aaaa
  aaaa

POLY MONO 8bit character hero typed with PRIXEL MONO font
POLY MONO 8bit character hero typed with PRIXEL MONO font jumping spawn showing upper and lower case

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