Help with conveying sound with typography?

newbie_chez's picture

I have a project where I have to choose a real-time event such as an object (eating popcorn etc) or event (such as going to a place) or anything I am interested in, and convey the sound(s) of it using only type.

I am thinking about doing mine about a visit to an art gallery, and conveying the levels of sound eg. background noise, people's discussions etc maybe.

Does anyone know any examples on the net, books about this sort of thing or inspiration that may help me?
Or let me know what you think would be an interesting sound to convey.

dan's picture

Cheryl, I'm from Manhattan a city known for its sounds from the Bronx to Chinatown. The bridges and subways to bustling midtown. The sounds of Rockefeller Center at Christmas and Coney Island during the summer.

I'd suggest exploring some of these sounds to give your typographic pallet some depth. Mermers in a museum seems rather tame and what is the type for a cell phone conversation anyway.

newbie_chez's picture

I think they may have it at my university library, going to check tomorrow...

I suppose I picked a museum at first because I like the feeling of calm in there! But I am from London I suppose it might be similar in places to Manhattan, as you described, I am all too familiar with the hustle and bustle on London Underground and Central London. It can be quite nice but also good to get some peace :D

hrant's picture

What about all that concrete typographic stuff?
Also check out "Telephone Book" by Avital Ronell.
There's also some interesting stuff in the archives
here actually, IIRC.

BTW, it strikes me that an interesting sound-event to convey would be a thunderstorm.


newbie_chez's picture

> That is very helpful, thanks. I'm going to have a look in my uni > library tomorrow!!!

Zara Evens's picture


If you can get your hands on Baseline, No 42, there is a great article called Hearing Type. There are some very interesting examples of printed materials and information based on things such as the relationships between typography and musical notation, as well as visual typographic structures in relation to musical timing. Some student work is also included, showcasing typography that mimics tonal properties in music, such as amplitude and pitch. It is really an interesting read, I recommend it highly.

I hope this helps,

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