Morten Halvorsen creates typefaces from his Parkinson’s-suffering mother’s handwriting

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“I know my mum’s handwriting like the back of my hand. I grew up reading her handwriting on notes, letters, birthday cards, and anything else a parent might give to their kids,” says Morten Halvorsen, creator of Write With Parkinson’s. This is, of course, alongside the other reason that children usually learn their mother’s handwriting too: “I was mostly a good kid, but I probably tried to mimic it as well to get out of things at school, please don’t tell my old teacher – or my mother!”

This knowledge Morten has of his mother’s handwriting gained a poignancy after she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, a symptom of which is a change in handwriting.

This motivated him to create a usable typeface based on it, immortalising the letters as they continue to change. “I spent about a week hand tracing every letter and turning it into a font,” he tells It’s Nice That. “The typeface is now fully usable if you are English or Norwegian speaking.”

Originally from Oslo, Morten is an art director currently working at Lyft in San Francisco. Prior to this, he built up an extremely strong CV, working for agencies like McCann New York, R/GA New York, 72andSunny LA and The Monkeys in Sydney.

As well as working day-to-day in the creative industry, Morten is also no stranger to finding creative solutions outside of work. He made a chat app called Polarize, which aimed to remove people from their confirmation bias bubble, “it puts people in chats with people they disagree with on any given topic,” he says. “A few years earlier, I created a song that was only available in one digital copy that you had to line up for, called One Copy Song. Obviously, this project is closer to my heart, but I always love creating things that flip things a little on their head.”

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