February 23, 2002
11:17 AM   Subscribe

The Alphabet Synthesis Machine uses a generative algorithim to allow you to evolve letterforms for your own nonexistent langauge. Once you've tweaked it to the way you like it, you can download it as a TrueType font, and it's added to an archive of available alien fonts. Via socialist superstar JBushnell
posted by thirteen (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Fascinating little application, and fun to tinker around with. My one qualm would be that no matter how different the original glyphs I drew were, the resulting sets of letters looked pretty much the same.

And they all looked like squiggles. I'm no linguistics expert, but it seems like no real-world character set would look like it was created by someone who was testing their pen.
posted by Hildago at 12:17 PM on February 23, 2002

This is fascinating. I can't wait to see what happens when a couple of artists find it. Thanks, thirteen.
posted by realjanetkagan at 1:54 PM on February 23, 2002

Cool as hell.
Now I can type in a made-up language like twins use, but with myself.

Sort of like I do here, come to think of it.
posted by dong_resin at 3:15 PM on February 23, 2002

This is very cool. Yes, a lot of the results look repetitive, but a few of them look totally viable.

Keep in mind that cursive or messy printing looks similarly implausable when looked at by someone who only reads Chinese or other sufficiently different script.

The easy generation of actual Truetype typefaces is really impressive on the back end.

posted by kfury at 6:35 PM on February 23, 2002

Browsing through the examples made by visitors to the site shows a few nice sets of characters - sure, some of the characters look similar, but this is true for nearly all real world character sets, for example; qpbd - eaoc - tflji etc.

i like it, and as soon as I get to work tomorrow i shall be playing.
posted by Spoon at 3:22 PM on February 24, 2002

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