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It is a graphic designer’s mission to interpret the image to a certain degree, in such a way as to determine its meaning-making process to a maximum extent. Graphic design being a visual form of communication that initiates a meaning-making process, this entails that graphic design, reduced to its purest form, is pure communication - or to be more precise: communication by means of signs. Today’s society relies to a great extent on communication, though not everyone can connect with everyone else yet, due the very diverse range of languages spoken (and written) on this earth. The ‘problem’ of language is that each alphabet is a set of symbols, linked to a certain meaning. If you know the rules, this is not a problem, but as an outsider you stand no chance: you will not understand any iota. As a graphic designer, I felt it might be interesting to try and develop a system suitable for communicating without having to learn a new language. ‘Text to Glyphs’ is a system to convert any language into a visual language consisting of pictograms, the connotative value which is directly determined by the sign itself. It is a practical application of Tom De Smedt’s findings in “Patterns”, a research project (EMRG, St Lucas University College of art and design, Antwerp) on the subject of linguistics and computer-aided text analysis.
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