design school


A 5-day workshop on written chat
Students explored the relations between auditive and visual communication.

With the help of the western alphabet it is possible to record the exact vocabulary and grammar of any spoken sentence. Many written texts (like this one), however, follow slightly different rules. Stuttering, additives like "eh..." and other detours are mostly absent. The lines printed here are more designed, smooth and perfect than spoken words. Much editing (adding, moving, deleting of characters) has taken place before saving. Many imperfections are hidden. This has advantages, of course. Writing a text enables control and the possibility to sharpen and clarify the content.

However, listening to someone speaking (as opposed to reading) can have some beneficial side effects. Not only what is being told, but also how (and where) can be crucial to interpret a broader meaning. Rhythm, accents, pauses, repetitions etc. all contribute to a more complete understanding, or even tell a different story.

Within the ongoing attempt to make design more direct, accessible and fresh, this week students will explore ways to re-integrate aspects of spoken language into graphic design.

By way of exercise, you will be asked to find and listen to recorded expressions of exemplary politicians, terrorists, church leaders (or to read their transcripts). This material is to be interpreted and given shape in form of a series of smart "sounding" visual messages (print and/or screen).

Special focus will be given to the guiding of text-flow, implementing rhetoric rules and experimental typography.