Mar 6, 2019

B.F.A. Design senior Ryan Hicks was recently featured by AIGA for his capstone project, Construk Sans. The original typeface challenges gender pronouns through ligature, a way of replacing certain characters with others.

Construk Sans by BFA Design senior Ryan Hicks

Hicks created the project after being inspired by a TED Talk by cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky on how language shapes the way we think. In order to explore a version of the English language in which gendered pronouns ("he/she") no longer exist, Construk Sans simply replaces them with gender-neutral alternatives.

“The idea was not so much to censor language or replace words, but rather to imagine an alternate future where these things don’t exist, or when gender doesn’t exist,” says Hicks.

According to the feature on AIGA's Eye on Design, "Construk Sans references the idea of doing away with gender constructs... and also hints at connotations of construction, or building—the idea of making progress."

Hicks sees potential for Construk Sans in professional workplace settings and in re-imagining classic texts in a post-gender world.

You can read the full article, "What Would Language Look Like if We Simply Did Away with Gendered Pronouns?" here.

Design   Undergraduate Students

Back to top