Hybrid Phonics

experimental typography, 2016
STA 100 Awards, 2017

Hybrid Phonics is a multi-sensory transcription of 26 letters spoken in four languages. The goal of this experiment is to [de]construct the phonetic alphabet into a new graphic language that is both visual and audible.

designed at CCA
mentor/ Megan Lynch

Deconstructing the Alphabet

In this exploration, 26 letters of the American alphabet are recorded in English, Spanish, German and Japanese and collaged in order to render a new visual form from each linguistic sound wave. This amalgamation of sounds and languages becomes a personal montage of spoken languages and their phonetic interpretations.
I chose these four languages because they are the ones I speak, studied and have always wanted to learn. The project began with a script of each phonetic letterform for the four languages I speak. I then recorded each language using Audacity and saved each language in separate files. After every sound has been recorded, I determined that I would layer each sound for per letter form and order the languages from native (English) to least fluent (Japanese).

Information Design

I realized that my initial interpretations of my phonetic alphabet were visually complex so I simplified my sound forms by isolating each language for each letter. This new form then allowed me to create a color code to distinguish one language from another when collaged.

Sensory Design

This phonetic alphabet becomes a personalized montage of sound forms derived from each letter spoken that is unique to me. The alphabet shown here is a graphic and sensory interpretation of the letters A to Z pronounced in the four languages I speak: English, Spanish, German and Japanese.