Congressional and state legislature districts are redrawn after each decennial census in the United States. Which group of people makes the decisions about how those districts are redrawn depends on the state.
In 31 states, state legislatures are responsible for redrawing U.S. congressional districts and 30 states are responsible for redrawing state legislatures. The remaining states use some form of a commission to redraw districts.
The influence of the ruling political party within each state can play a significant role in determining the final geography of each district.
Gerrymandering is the practice of drawing or re-drawing congressional boundaries to benefit a specific political candidate or party.
Some of these redrawn districts can end up being very convoluted, occupying narrow and twisted sections of land with no coherence to the local landscape.
As a way to bring attention to this questionable practice, designers Ben Doessel and James Lee created a free font that forms the letters of the alphabet using congressional district shapes. The complete font is offered via the website Ugly Gerry.
Some of the letters are formed from a single congressional district while other letters are a combination of two districts.
All of the districts used are labeled so users can see how each letter was created.
Users who want, can down the font for free by clicking the on OTF image at the bottom left of the web site. OTF stands for Open Type Format, a font file format that can then be installed on your computer and used in any software program for typing text.
Users can also type a message to their congressional representative using the fonts in the form offered. The web site will try to identify the relevant congressional representative based on the location of the visitor. The typed message can then be tweeted at the politician to bring awareness to gerrymandering.
Visit: Ugly Gerry