Chimes new roman: Making a personalised typeface using sound

15.12.2014 Sound Meets Type : Håkon Meyer Stenholt : Sonic Landscapes
Sound Meets Type, Håkon Meyer Stenholt, Oslo

Oslo – Graphic designer Håkon Meyer Stensholt has created a new form of typeface using sound.

Developed with creative technologist Paulo Barcelos, Sound meets Type (SmT) is a project that uses software to visualise the inherent data in sound, exploring letter forms in a new and playful way.

The results are striking. Spiky, agitated lettering, reminiscent of sharded pieces of granite, reveal intricate geometric ripples and peaks – think abstract digital sculptures rather than Helvetica.

The software enables users to adjust the weight and elasticity of the letters to create personalised typefaces and download them to use. ‘It gives a huge variety of possibilities in terms of interactivity,’ Stensholt tells LS:N Global. ‘You can use your voice, play an instrument, a song or record the sound of your city, and they would all make their own impact on the letter form. I wanted SmT to be an experience as well as a new way of creating and interacting with type.’

Although it is now a side project, Stensholt hopes that SmT will turn into a commercially available software program.

For more on how the science of sound is informing a bold new aesthetic as brands look to re-awaken our sense of listening, read our Sonic Landscapes design direction.

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