A Synaesthetic Alphabet

by Emily Groves

This type/sound project is based on colour synaesthesia. Emily was inspired by Inge Druckery: “A written letter is a memory of motion.”

Emily says, “I was interested in the intrinsically biological links between type and colour. This led me to thinking about synaesthesia, a neurological phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to automatic experiences in a second sensory pathway. To fulfil the brief of producing a one-minute video, I wanted to explore this notion of alternative perceptions of everyday things and apply it to motion and sound.”

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 12.29.52

She took photos of everyday things in her environment, covering varying scales from buildings and landscapes to objects and markings.

Synaesthetic alphabet by Emily Groves

She then manipulated the colours in Photoshop, mapping the colours associated with each letter by grapheme-colour synaesthetes; for example the letter C is often perceived as pink or yellow. She then filmed her hand tracing over the letterforms. The sound was achieved by converting image files into audio.

Type & colour booklet by Emily Groves