Mark Chan
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Phonetic Typography

 
 
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PHONETIC TYPOGRAPHY

Exploring the relationship between speech and typography.

 

My senior degree project at the Maryland Institute College of Art explores the relationship between speech and type through the creation of a tool that can help typography carry meaning more effectively.

By varying typographic forms with fluctuations in speech, users can see how a sentence is said just by looking at it, allowing words to speak for themselves.

If you're using Google Chrome, you can try it for yourself here!

 

SCOPE

Programming
Type Design
User Interaction

SCHOOL

MICA

 
 
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VISUALIZING SPEECH

Spoken language is complex, with varying tones and points of emphasis, all of which can drastically affect the meaning of a sentence. By collecting samples of sound data, this project aims to visualize these nuances.

 
 
 
 

BEHIND THE IDEA

Speech inherently loses a part of its meaning when translated into characters on a screen. The rise of meme and GIF culture show that type on its own can't always convey exactly what you mean.

 
 
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DESIGNING THE TYPEFACE

Thinner letterforms evoked higher pitched sounds, while thicker ones evoked lower pitched, bass heavy sounds. Taller and shorter letterforms evoked louder and softer sounds respectively. This resulted in the creation of a typeface that could stretch between these extremes.

 
 
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POTENTIAL APPLICATIONS

By showing how words or sentences should be pronounced tonally, the learning of new languages would become simpler and more accurate.

 
 
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