projects / Sartalics

Producer: June Kim / Strategy: Blake Gilmore / Copy & Art: Nathan Hoang
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Sartalics is a left-leaning type style that denotes sarcasm.

Sartalics is not a font. Sartalics is not a punctuation mark. Sartalics is a lifestyle—the biggest communication breakthrough since that time some people figured out the Rosetta Stone.

There's been a calling for a sarcasm font since a little bit before the Declaration of Independence and quite possibly hieroglyphs along the ancient Egyptian pyramid walls where builders sarcastically complimented their work conditions.


With this many people asking for a sarcasm font, we can make a difference.

What are Sartalics exactly?

The way italics emphasizes certain parts of text by leaning to the right, Sartalics leans to the left to de-emphasizes certain parts of speech to the point it becomes sarcastic.

Unlike a font, Sartalics is a type style that can be applied to any type face: Helvetica, Times New Roman, Comic Sans. And unlike a punctuation mark, Sartalics is applied only to where sarcasm is sarcastic instead of an entire sentence.

Before Sartalics

Before Sartalics

After Sartalics

After Sartalics

How can I do Sartalics?

Right now there's no easy way to apply Sartalics to your everyday life. There's a CSS hack we found that goes like this:

<div style=“-webkit-transform:skew(25deg); -moz-transform: skew (25deg); -ms- transform: skew(25deg);-o-transform: skew(25deg); transform: skew(25deg); display: inline-block;”>
Your sarcastic text</div>

You can copy/paste the code right into your CSS and enjoy your freedom of expression.

It's not an ideal solution, since it only works for <Div> but our hopes are high that they'll be adopted across multiple platforms in the future. If NASA was able to create a pen that can be used in zero gravity, surely we can make type lean a little to the left?

Until we get to that pinnacle of human communication, fans of Sartalics have taken to using backslashes around the word when writing, just as one would use underscores to italicize a word in Gchat.

Why does the world need Sartalics?

Just as there's a time and place for your local trash pick-up, there's a time and place for sarcasm. And just as there's a time and place for sarcasm, there's a time and place for Sartalics.

It doesn't haven't to be used every time someone's being sarcastic in text. If that was the case, The Onion would never be funny and reading the subtitles whenever Chandler Bing talks would be frustrating.

Part of sarcasm is having the reader figure it out. But sometimes, you need to outright say that you're being sarcastic. That's why people use #sarcasm or emoticons or other methods to convey sarcasm.

We're just trying to simplify it for everyone.

There's a great need for Sartalics.

We tried a Twitterblitz in 2011.

 It went \well\.

Well, it went well, but obviously, Sartalics isn't universally adopted yet, so there's work to do.

It's in the works. But for now, tweet this with us, won't you?

sartalics title.jpg

Sartalics is an intern project from the BBH Barn in New York.

Featured on Buzzfeed, shown on Huffington PostDiscovery News, Complex, Metro, Dell for the New York Times & spawned a parody.