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Queezoid: the Alien Script That’s Out of This World

Aliens have invaded the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital (RMCH) in Manchester, United Kingdom. But don’t panic! The Queezies have the purest of intentions. Their expedition to the UK hospital is to learn how to cure their sick kids, the Queezlings, aided by their kid-friendly type, Queezoid.

Image provided by Nick Hamilton

These fictional aliens from the planet Queezon 3 are illustrated in RMCH’s wards, halls, and rooms to provide entertainment and guidance to kids. The characters, illustrated by Nick Hamilton and Nick Yates, write in a kid-like fashion to communicate to the young patients.

Image source: StudioType

From Queezoid to English: The Queezies Master the English Letterforms

The agency Hemisphere headed the Queezies branding project and hired typographer Jeremy Tankard to design and develop the aliens’ handwriting. Tankard started his foundry in 1998, and he’s designed multiple typefaces including Bliss, Enigma, and Kingfisher.

Tankard’s mission in conlanging the alien language is to demonstrate how the aliens adjust their native letter strokes to write in English letterforms. He constructed three fonts for the Queezies project — Queezoid Earth, Queezoid Hand, and Queezoid Sans. The fonts rely heavily on geometry, as the Queezies’s culture places an emphasis on math. The foundry used an uber grid to design the individual letterforms.

Image source: StudioType

Tankard researched earth scripts as the basis for this typeface, and several scripts influenced his design of this script. According to StudioType, the Pollard script’s “repeat patterning of a syllabic script does impart a mathematical and engineered feel, which was worth exploring. From this developed the idea that geometry is core to the Queezie cultural history, as well as the development of their script.” It also borrows from the Demotic, Cypriote, Brahmi, and Balti scripts. Lahnda and Pahlavik scripts influenced the fonts as well since both of those scripts provided vertical movements that connect ascenders and establish energy.

Image source: StudioType

Behind the Script Design

The language’s grammatical components feature simple punctuation, maximizing its understandability. Footnote 25 notes that “a feature of Queezoid is marking the occurrence of a duplicated letter. When two letters the same appear together, the second one is replaced by a high or low mark.” Another common punctuation behind the script includes a short vertical stroke in the top section.

Image source: Footnote

In the images below, notice the geometric shapes and how the ligature flows between letters. Both the Queezoid Hand and the Queezoid Sans feature the same four ligatures – ch, et, fa, and sh. The Queezoid Hand font features 52 ligatures and 227 glyphs, with the Sans font including 153 glyphs. 645 glyphs comprise the Queezoid Earth font, which features five versions of each glyph.

Image source: typography.net

Image source: StudioType

Queezies’ Invasion at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital

The summation of this branding project launched in 2016 at the RMCH. The Queezoids guide patients throughout their healthcare journey and offers fun activities such as helping the patients design their own spacesuits.

Image source: StudioType

More information behind the design process of the Queezoid script is found here and here. Jumpstart your creativity for a conlang project of your own by enrolling in this creative boot camp course taught by Jim Krause, Exercises for Designers.

Image source: Nick Hamilton

Image source: Nick Hamilton

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