What you speak
is what you get

New perspectives for typesetting language
Christina Poth and Felix Walser

What You Speak Is What You Get explores new perspectives for designing with text. Can spoken language extend the typographic design process? In our research process, we explore the potential of the spoken word as an alternative input modality and innovative interface for dynamic typesetting through speech recognition and analyse of oral expression.

In a first research phase, we developed with students a collective dynamic type-and-coding installation. It was presented in the context of the 30-years of design department exhibition at University of Applied Sciences Potsdam. 
In the beginning we moved away from the classic “what you see is what you get” principle and set/designed text and words in code (where you don’t see what you get). With this typographic coding base (strictly html/css in combination with a variable font, to keep the accessibility high) we then focused on the typographic expression of interjections.

Based on these coding structures we are currently building interactive prototypes, where we use different models of speech recognition and analysis to map these words and spoken characteristics to classic typographic features (size/weight/width). What contribution can variable fonts make to the visual transcription of vocal properties? What are potential use cases or future applications?

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