Phonetic Type Design 


Font to show differences in pronouncing a letter in the context of a word that can be understood intuitively.

Year
2014

Client
university project

Published 
Page Online
Page Magazine


Without the ability to hear, learning how to speak is a challenge one can barely meet. These people neither know how words should sound nor how they sound when they pronounce them, not to mention that there is no way of learning how to pronounce words intuitively. However many deaf people face that challenge and succeed. But no matter how hard they try it will not be possible to learn the tiny differences in pronouncing some words. So I started thinking of a method that could visualize those differences in a way everybody can understand. After a while I came up with the idea that there is no better way of showing how things are differently pronounced than by showing it with signs the people have already learned: The Latin alphabet. In fact almost all of the differences can be shown just by this limited amount of signs by replacing special letters with others. That is how this font was created.

After finishing the project I realized that such a font might not be the solution of the real problem we have in our society, which is the missing sensibility for and acceptance of inequality. Helping people who cannot hear to speak like somebody who can hear might not be the type of equality we should aim for. The better way would be to create acceptance of this existing inequality rather than trying to eliminate it. 

info@hannadevries.de