Fake alphabets and typography

carotte's picture

Quite a while ago I used to read a blog whose owner/writer usually made block printing, his own book binding, wrote about typography and so on. One of the thing he mentioned (and did/showed) was fake alphabets, made up language that he would write and create.
It seemed like quite a lot of people did this kind of thing, and there was a name for it.
Having lost the link to the blog and google search having been unfruitful I was wondering if anyone here knew of the name ( for the act of creating a fake language/alphabet) and/or maybe a blog that would talk about such things.

I am not looking for this particular blog, I assume there is more than one, the term/name however would be greatly appreciated, I do remember that the writer was a teacher at a university or art school, American or Canadian.

eliason's picture

You might find this old Typophile thread helpful, or at least interesting.

carotte's picture

Thank you for the link! there are some really good examples, I scanned the texts pretty fast ( but will go back to them, there are some references/names that I will be able to dig up further), yet I don't think I saw a 'name' given to this type of typography.

I did find the term Artlang through wikipedia, describing for example the elvish language of JRR.Tolkien's universe as artlang, if anyone know of another way to call it..

It seems like Luigi Serafini's Codex Seraphinianus is the closest thing from what I remember in the blog I mentioned, in his calligraphic, hand-drawn approach .

hrant's picture

I don't think I've ever heard a term for it.
What about Neologology?


blank's picture

Blambot has done a few of these: http://blambot.com/fonts_symbol.shtml

DTY's picture

Conlang (constructed language) is another term for made-up languages. I haven't seen as much discussion of made-up writing systems, although it has a certain connection with traditional cryptography; in an earlier thread here it was referred to as neography.

cerulean's picture

Invented writing systems tend to be called constructed scripts (Sometimes abbreviated as "con-script", though not as often since "conscript" is a word), and they can be either be for a conlang or for existing languages. Some are little more than substitution ciphers, some are more complex.

Shavian, for example, is a phonetic alphabet designed for English, intended seriously. Its glyphs so heavily rely on rotations and reflections that it is impractical for even the mildly dyslexic, but its celebrity origin gives it enough esteem that it has an official Unicode block.

Omniglot.com has compiled plenty of these to look at.

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