Auf ein schmales Gespräch is a print publication in two parts that focusses on gender equity in the German language. It was designed by Kathrin Wedler and Alma Halfpaap as part of a student project lead by Judith Fehlau at FH Potsdam called “Design won’t save the world, unless it changes itself/unless we change it. Feministische Perspektiven auf Design und Gesellschaft”.
As many typographic solutions have evolved in the German language to include every gender when speaking of a doctor, a student, or a reader for instance, this publication is based on a survey in the typographic design community. In contains interviews with type designers and typographers and follows the question how designers can contribute to a topic that is most of the times handled by linguistics.
Throughout the whole publication the typeface Sombra by TypeMates is used in various styles. Matching the topic of the publication a special “Alternate Gender Star” stylistic set has been used. This OpenType feature is an experiment by type designer Paul Eslage to contribute to gender neutral language from a typographic point of view. In this stylistic set the asterisk glyph (*) – which is often used to include all genders in German language – is introduced as an asterisk accent that is placed over certain lowercase letters just like all the other accents. This prevents the text from getting too many big holes from typing the asterisk glyph.