Life is Unfair

Book design, Photography, Writing


In the spring of 2018 I made a comb bound zine for my type class about the typographic language of Malcolm in the Middle. I learned that the font used in the title sequence of the show, FunkyFresh—a bitmappy 1994 shareware font, that was created through a process of hand lettering, photocopy, and Fontographer’s autotrace feature was inspired by the brand lettering of Stüssy, “the iconic streetwear of that decade’s semi-rebellious youth.” I began to wonder how Malcolm in the Middle could intersect with streetwear, and how that intersection could be recognized in other facets of our culture, ways of storytelling, media consumption, and individual comprehension of identity as a whole. This informed the work I later did in my preliminary design thesis course. Although this project is not “complete”, its existence has assisted me in understanding my approach to story telling, conceptual thinking, and visual curation. With this initial exploration in mind, this book shares my findings, process of research, and proposed project outcome.

Sophie Van Der Merwe
Portland, Oregon