“The cool thing about these guys,” said Youtube founder Jawed Karim, gesturing at the elephants behind him, “is that they have really, really, really long trunks.” He looked back at the elephants, and finding their really long trunks still cool, reasserted the point: “And that’s, that’s cool. And that’s pretty much all there is to say.”
So ended the first video ever uploaded to YouTube, back in 2005. The video was as unequivocally about elephants and their cool trunks as the platform was unequivocally about you. You, the viewer. You, the creator.
This duality of You-ness is why, In 2013, YouTube launched YouTube FanFest, “a community for fans and creators – uniting the two online, offline and everywhere in between.” The international tour of live shows features the popular YouTube creators who propelled the platform from a place to host videos about your trip to the zoo, to a medium unto itself, hosting unique content beloved by millions of people around the globe.
To capture that energy in event advertising, video headlines, and the YTFF logo itself, YouTube tapped BLKBK’s font, Third Rail, starting in 2018. The product of a hand as confident as any YouTuber, this font crackles with the energy of swift strokes and textured finishes. The personality of the handwriting speaks to the individuality and DIY ethic at the heart of all original YouTube content, while its style—an homage to scripts on VHS and record covers from the ‘80s—lends a new medium the unconventional gravity of media generations old.