Who: The graphic designer Sylvan Lanz presents Voicewriter, a voice visualising project based on the development of a font family and a software.
When: Currently working as graphic and type designer at Studio Laurenz Brunner, Zurich, Sylvan Lanz pursues as well his own projects. 2018 he obtained his bachelor’s degree in graphic design at ECAL, Lausanne. In 2016 his work was featured in the show ECAL Graphic Design at the Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein.
Where: Lanz previously gained professional experience in Basel, Berlin, Zürich and Lausanne, among others at Elektrosmog, Zürich, and Thomas Lehner Studio, Berlin.
What: Inspired by the early 20th-century experiments of phonetician and dialectologist Jean-Pierre Rousselot, the research project Voicewriter aims at transposing live spoken words into written language. Intonation, volume and other oral qualities are interpreted through a variation of typographic qualities.
The project required a web font family large enough to render the multiple variations, so Lanz developed the font family Vokal. Based on Grotesk fonts created at the same time as Rousselot’s, Lanz adapted Vokal towards a more modern and subtle feel.
Why: Typographic experiments integrating software-based variations are relevant and exciting directions for exploring the gap between oral and written language.