The Widow & the Orphan

The Widow & the Orphan is a zine created based on typographic widows and orphans by Darius Ou from Singapore.In typography, ‘widows’ and ‘orphans’ are often the overlooked component of the perfect typesetting. They are said to ‘break’ the geometry of the page. This is very common in first drafts of passages, feared by graphic designers, but a non-issue to the layman. The origins of the term ‘widow’ and ‘orphan’ are mysterious.

These terms are not typical typography jargons. These terms articulate with a catchy mnemonic that goes, “An orphan is left behind, whereas a widow must go on”. This mnemonic carries a certain stigma, both in the society and in typography.

This zine explores the relationship between the typography and societal context of the terms. There is also an attempt to look into the relationships between typography and visual forms. Inspired by the look of old novels.

With photography by Christopher Olszewski.