Synaesthetic Type

I just found a link to this odd thing on NOTCOT. It’s essentially a synthesiser control panel for changing the forms of glyphs in a typeface, but instead of just changing sound, it treats the strokes as a kind of ‘play-head’ for creating sound, rather like a groove in a vinyl record. As you change the glyph, you change the sound, and vice versa. Also, what you do to one glyph will be done to all the others.

Now, my first impressions after looking at the results are to say that this is an evil device born of the unspeakable nether regions of mythological demons - I mean, to do this to type? They’ll be kicking puppies next! However, I’ve since watched the video and I think there may be some interesting things in there, say, altering the stress on type, adding some interesting brush strokes and the like, but that what you get would be a starting point for any kind of type project. I wouldn’t ever use any of the results as they are. Besides, the noises the thing makes are stunningly annoying. It’s no wonder most of the results are so hideously ugly, you’d end up with a seriously bad headache and a foul temper after a few minutes of using it.

There is one good thing about it though: the display interface. It reminds me of graphics from Star Wars, or the info-screens in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Any moment you expect a Ti-Fighter to come in and start blasting vertices from the bastardised remains of the glyphs: