Designer(s): Samantha Lewis, New Zealand
Category: , Student
User's Profile : User's Profile
foanetiks is a typographic system exploring the complexities and irregularities of letter sound relationships within the English language.
English consists of 44 sounds, represented by only 26 letters, and three are redundant. The difficulty in learning to read is that a speech sound is often represented by more than one spelling. This indicates that spelling phonetically would be a more efficient means of communicating written language.
As a potential solution a typographic system was developed to translate between english and phonetic spelling and aims to assist adults with low literacy and people with dyslexia by deciphering and decoding everyday high frequency words through pronunciation, while revealing the deceptions of sound and letter relationships.
Letterforms of English and phonetic spelling were combined to create glyphs that represented each speech sound and its relationship to each letter pattern it represents. For example, an f sound is also represented by ph and gh, therefore, the phoneme f is represented by three glyphs. For phonetic spelling to be visually dominant, pattern and colour were used as a layering system to create contrast and hierarchy to indicate the correct pronunciation. Traditional spelling is referenced in solid colour on the bottom layer of the system.
By reading the top patterned layer, learners can understand the correct pronunciation of each sound, while noting the original spelling. Single letters that do not have alternative spellings are unchanged, but sounds that were represented by a combination of two letters were created as one glyph to reduce confusion of one sound. The system is named Senchuree Fortee For, referencing Century Gothic, the base typeface, and the 44 sounds in English. It is displayed in a dictionary and poster format. The dictionary notes common irregularities and the modified representations for each sound and is a reference guide to define the system.
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