AtF Spark Typeface

Now here’s an interesting project: AtF Spark [Update 2/21/19: It’s now called simply Sparks] is a new typeface by data design company After the Flood that turns typed numerals into inline data visualizations (aka sparklines). These types of things are normally a pain in the butt to code and implement — and most writers will never even learn how to — but AtF Spark makes it a nearly effortless process.

The way it works is that you type a set of numerals with comma-separated values enclosed within curly brackets, like so: 123{10,20,30,40,50,60,70,80,90,100}789). (You can also have numbers before and after the set, á la the 123 and 789 in the example.) AtF Spark takes this and automatically turns it into a chart within the sentence.

Here are some examples of what you can do:



Katharine Schwab of Fast Co. Design gives some context for what makes AtF Spark useful:

The ease of use AtF Spark affords could be a boon for journalists and data designers. Most newsrooms don’t require journalists to be able to make their own graphics; there’s usually a graphics team that does that for them. That necessitates a higher bar for creating a graphic. But with AtF Spark, there’s no reason to not include more in-line visualizations, whether it’s in a news story or a design brief. While sparklines don’t take the place of larger graphics, they do provide instant visual context for anyone to use.

Read more about this typeface at the Sparks site or head over to GitHub to grab the source code and font files.