Anyone who contributes over $10 will get a physical reproduction of Einstein’s letter sent from Potsdam on July 30, the 85th anniversary of its original mailing (to the day). In September, Geisler will travel to Vienna and send out the copies of Freud’s letter, also coinciding with the exact place and time of year that the original was dropped in the mail. For the sake of historical accuracy, Geisler paid close attention to the format of the originals.
“When I studied Freud’s original letters, I noticed the odd sizes of the paper. I talked with the archivist about it and she confirmed that Freud actually ordered his papers from a print shop and had it cut up in specific sizes. In 2013, I even found a reference to one of his paper merchants, and the company is still family operated. I’m thinking about trying to use paper that is made from the same resources,” writes the typographer in an email to Creators.
Backers can choose to receive the letters themselves, or send them to someone else—friends, family, or even, as Einstein put it, those irresponsible political rulers. To Geisler, the reenactment is an opportunity to learn from history. “I like the idea of sending letters to politicians, because these are the people that urgently should reflect on these matters. Maybe a perspective from 1932 can change the views of some,” he tells us.
Geisler’s fonts are unique in that the appearance of the letters varies throughout a single sentence, essentially creating a “living” font that better mimics the movement of actual handwriting. “I remember that I was thinking a lot about how variation and improvisation in dance works—one kind of does the same thing over and over again along given patterns, but sprinkles in a variation here and there,” he recalls.
In order to produce the fonts, he spent a considerable amount of time studying primary sources, and this project sent him back to the archives. He writes, “In the back of my mind I knew that there were meetings between the two and some correspondence. When I started my research about their communication I was surprised to find out that they not only wrote letters to each other, but also published their writings. They created a book together called Why War? It was published in 1933, one year after the letters were sent.”
The original print run for Einstein and Freud’s Why War? only totaled 2,000 copies, and Geisler is secretly hoping to match that number with his mailings. Most of all, he hopes the project will inspire people to think further on these matters.
Source:: The Creators Project