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3D / Publication Design

Project Background

From Egyptian hieroglyphs to the English alphabet, the form of the letter changed significantly in terms of simplicity. In ancient times, the people used logographic and pictographic elements mainly to express meanings, as the human society appeared and developed, the need of communication efficiency and accuracy raised, which forced the letterform to be simplified and standardised. The logo-graphical elements were omitted and employed more regular and simple line structure, which become basic written symbols.

Project Concept

Being inspired by the history of the English alphabet, and the theory suggested by Noam Chomsky, the human mind comes equipped with a simple but sophisticated rule-based system, that determines how we read the text and understand languages. As a starting point, I came up with a hypothesis that the modern English alphabet can be simplified further to keep the effective information of the letterform only but still achieve a reasonable level of legibility.


After reading Visual Intelligence written by Donald Hoffman, I realised legibility is closely linked to cognitive science and human visual system which intelligently constructs the useful visual worlds based on the images at the eyes. Interestingly, Hoffman suggested an important rule for vision, the human visual system sometimes fails because the image at eye has two dimensions, but the countless possible interpretation in three dimensional, Then I carried out a series of experimental designs to explore and challenge the human visual system by employing three-dimensional perspective into the work.