Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2015

Parsons School of Design
BFA Communication Design
Thesis 2015

Superglyphs
Ariel Saura

Written language is 
constantly evolving. It faces pressures that require its adaptation to flourish. Written language is less immediate than spoken language in its impression, requiring time to decode and process its meaning, losing speed but gaining accuracy and longevity. These systems complement each other, but they also interact in a dynamic way, each pushing the other to adapt. Between the words is another area of language we might study, punctuation. Punctuation is central to written language, developing in the mid-15th century as written culture struggled with the lack of expression found in words alone. Punctuation marks were created to parallel spoken language in an attempt to make writing more expressive. An illustration: The exclamation point derived from the Latin word io, meaning joy. Over time this io form morphed to the i placed above the o. This grew into the form we know today as an exclamation point. Most punctuation was developed by compressing letters either vertically or horizontally to create these forms. Punctuation merges written and spoken language, as acronyms do the same. Acronyms are an abbreviation of words that derive from spoken words. Abbreviation is a form of compression in language, and not surprisingly are constantly developing and changing alongside spoken language. So, if we combine these two functions of written language punctuation and acronyms, what might happen? This strategy of vertical and horizontal compression applied to punctuation marks can be applied to the letterforms of acronyms, creating superglyphs. Just as acronyms and punctuation change overtime, Superglyphs evolve over time. Except now, time in language has been accelerated, so it no longer takes a group of monks to create a compression glyph over five generations, now it can happen much more rapidly. By introducing new Superglyphs we accelerate written language, making it act more like a software update. This presents both opportunities and dilemmas, which the project hopes to expose. These Superglyphs do not replace language, but work alongside language. They are designed to make physically writing faster and more efficient. The glyphs are an optimization of existing acronyms. This system of Superglyphs is something that can continue to adapt in the future, just as punctuation has done for thousands of years, but faster.

Carolina Acosta

Carina Adijanto

Kathryn Adkins

Rosa Antonieta Andia Pastor

Che Ying Au

Nadia Bakst

Kevin Ballon

Tess Barber

Mercedes Beach

Trey Bedingfield

Evan Bender

Jan-Luca Berger

Liz Bergesch

Gabriel Berrios

Bianca Rose Bono

Zoe Sarah Bortz

Margot Bravi

Harlie Brindak

Stefania Brusatin

Shamma Buhazza

Daniela M. Casado

Edgar Castro

Dahye Chang

Alicia Chen

Jiayi Chen

Taylor Childers

Sanjana Chimnani

Yerang Choi

Caroline Chriss

Gregory Conte

Rafael Cordoboa

Gina Marie Costa

Karen-Cristina Cruz

Rachel Darmody

Amanda DeGiuseppe

Brittany DiPeri

Dariel Ben Dominguez

Phoebe Feng

Mark Foss

Lindsey Frazier

Anais Freitas

Amanda Goldstein

MaryAnn George

Camille Gervais

Sarah Gonzalez

Jessica Griscti

Anissa Hanley

Christa Herchek

Albert Hicks IV

Deja Holden

Mu-Ti Huang

Cari Hume

Zachary David Hurley

Anushae Hussain

Nicole Ignacio

Lama Kaddura

Sul Kim

Ji Hyun Kim

Hyerin Kim

Sunghoon Kim

Green Kim

Felicitas Kofler

Joan Koo

Hannah Kramer

Taiji Kuroda

Jasmine Lam

Alex Lardaro

Liberty Leben

Victoria Lee

Jayne Lee

Stephanie Leone

Crysta Leong

Sara Li

Liza Littlefield

Christopher Lucero

Huy Luong

Briana Lynch

Rachel Mak

David Marte

Nelle McDade

Kelly Merole

Marie Mhina

Riho Mineta

Regina Morgan-Muñoz

Ayla El-Moussa

Baki Mumkaya

Summer Myung

Caroline Newton

Sofia Oom

Adrian Ortega Pedraza

Rusbeny Pichardo

Maria Putri

Auriel Rickard

Nancy Rivera

Simone Roark

Emalis Robateau

Hussain Salahuddin

Benjamin Sands

Ariel Saura

Taleen Setrakian

Wren Sieber

Erinn Springer

Phuong Tran

Hilary Tunstall

Ujvala Abirami Vemparala

Gosbinda Vizarretea

Claudia von Hillebrandt

Marcus Washington Jr.

Jocelyn Wu

Jasmine Yacoub

Brenden Ying

Horin Yip

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