In my self-initiate project, I explored the roots of the alphabet, symbols and codes. Approaching my research, I felt a special interest in the alphabet. For instance, why the letter A has this shape and sound? I wanted to know how Phonetics had developed too and how we have come to relate sounds with writing? After researching this, I arrived at the conclusion that there is no relationship between the letter shape and the sound, like Derrida said writing is memory.
During my research of Alphabet Symbology, I realized that people associate symbols to their life experience and culture. Word Recognition is connected to our memory in addition to using it for many years. In line with James Cattell (1886) the first psychologist to propose that we see words as a complete pattern been recognizable to us as an image. Different Word Recognition theory (1996, Spear Swerling and Sternberg) explained that visual-cue readers, who are pre-alphabetic, do recognize words as a pattern. For example, small children will recognize the McDonald’s logo.
Research has led me to believe that letter frequency influences word recognition. For this reason, I decided to make an experimental alphabet. Hue Alphabet is an experimental alphabet resulting from the association of each alphabet letter to one colour. For the validation of the letter frequency, I used an essay by Peter Bil’ak,”Experimental typography. Whatever that means” . In the end, I applied the alphabet to the text in order to get a pattern. I asked some people about the Hue Alphabet leaving them with the it for while to see if they could recognize words just from the colour composition.
The colour choice for each is based on the Munsell Colour System. The Munsell colour system divides into five principal hues: Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple. I applied these colours to the five letters with the highest frequency. “E” is the letter used most frequently in the English language and is represented by the colour red, followed by the letter T represented by yellow , the letter I to blue, N to the colour green and finally letter A to the colour purple . According to the colour system, I applied the colours to the remaining letters.
The final piece is a book showing the letter frequency, system colour and the application of text into the Hue Alphabet.