Speculative Characters for Visual Inflection

Mia Cinelli


In the age of emojis, type and image work in tandem to bolster our typographic voices, conveying our wide range of emotions. What if, in lieu of relying on smiley-faces and eggplants to make our point, new punctuation could formally articulate the meaning of a message as conveyed through facial expressions, gestures, and metaphors? Engaging with design as a medium for inquiry, these speculative characters aim to supplement our existing typefaces, attempting to make the rich complexities of conversation visible. Introducing these characters while citing and celebrating their historic predecessors, this presentation prompts a larger discussion: what is the role of speculative design in typography, and how does language influence action?