Graphic Design Seniors
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Mark Chan, class of 2018

September 13, 2018


the project

Phonetic Typography explores the relationship between speech and type through the creation of a tool that can help typography carry meaning more effectively. By varying typographic forms with fluctuations in speech, users can see how a sentence is said just by looking at it, allowing words to speak for themselves.



Spoken language is filled with nuances, from different tones to different points of emphasis, that can drastically change the meaning of a sentence. A lot of meaning is lost in the conversation from physical to digital. My project attempts to visually represent these nuances by collecting data of spoken language and converting it into unique, generative visual forms.



MARK's advice

Don't let your ideas be boxed in by your software. I only started coding by my senior year, and it started because I wanted a motion piece of mine to react to the viewer, something that wasn't possible with just the Adobe suite. By limiting yourself to what your tools can do, you may have to strip back your idea and settle for something less. So if your current set of tools don't work with your idea, find better tools that can!

Ask your faculty for help. Our professors in the department have expertise in many different areas, from typography and motion graphics to coding and product design. Don't be afraid to reach out to them for help, even if you don't take their classes. They can help you gauge the feasibility of your ideas in the time you have, and link you to resources that can help you achieve them.

You can learn a lot from YouTube. Sometimes the simplest answers and solutions are only a video tutorial away. 

Work and thesis are important, but the friendships you have are too. Don't forget to set aside time to hang out with your friends and do something fun together. Use the time you have left to build friendships that will last way beyond your time at MICA!