Scrabble is such a mainstay of American board games that it’s easy to overlook the fact that there’s much that it could so easily be improved. In fact, it’s ripe for a major redesign if you ask Andrew Capener. A recent design-school grad, he created a special typographic edition, which we featured last year and is now available for pre-order.
In keeping with his A-1 Scrabble prototype, Capener dispenses with the original News Gothic-y look in favor of an assortment of 15 typefaces. (The final list of which will be decided once he has finished negotiations with the various foundries.) The board, too, has been upgraded: Six magnetized panels come in a solid walnut box and snap together to form a 19-by-17-inch playing surface. Whereas the designer originally specified the tile racks be made of wood, he has since changed the material to metal. “The board and tile rack combination became too monochromatic, and I felt that there needed to be some pacing in the set,” Capener tells Co.Design. “The material echoes the magnets that hold the six game panels together. We also wanted to do all that we could to give the end user a set that was made from the finest materials possible.”
The first limited-edition run of 1,200 (each hand-signed and numbered) is expected to ship in August, after which Capener will release single-type packs, so type obsessives can collect their favorites. (We’re guessing Helvetica will be among them.) “We really want to excite current type lovers and encourage a whole new crowd of people to explore the beauty that is the art of typography,” the designer says.