Improvement

Post unfinished work here for feedback and advise.
Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Fri Sep 14, 2012 9:13 am

SVG Image
I'm no artist. I can think of wonderful ideas (at least, I think they're wonderful) for paintings and diagrams, but my hands won't obey me when I try to make them. Last night I made this little comparison diagram (there's a border on the right side; it's just cut off), and when I finished I thought, "How can I make this better?". So I applied the filters you see to the two alphabets, and I also considered using colours other than black and white. But I also thought the stark contrast between the sides was good, and thought that other colours might take away from the message.

So what do the people think?

User avatar
brynn
Posts: 10309
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:34 pm
Location: western USA
Contact:

Re: Improvement

Postby brynn » Fri Sep 14, 2012 12:22 pm

Do you mean which is easier to read, or which is the most visually appealing? For what purpose are we comparing black on transparent to white on black? Or are we comparing which alphabet looks better with the filter?

Actually I think I'd use a different filter. Maybe just a simple blur. Because you can see that the filter leaves some anomalies -- tiny apparent holes that normally aren't part of the letters....at least the English ones, and presumably the other.

Since the one on the right uses transparency, you won't be able to predict the color of the background, and it will look different on different color backgrounds. So the one on the left (white on black) will always look just how it is. But even if you changed the one on the right to black on white, I'd still probably choose the one on the left, because of the blur.

For my taste though, I probably wouldn't use a filter. I won't say "at all" - maybe I'd like a different filter better. But I'd probably lean toward using different fonts, with much less blur, if any.

But I'm still not sure what the purpose is, so it's hard to say which I like better. But maybe my comments will be helpful :D

Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:08 pm

Really? The idea is ease of readability. I thought that would be obvious from the comparisons at the bottom.

We're comparing those colours because the background of Inkscape when I was making the image was white. And I'll see how it looks without filters. That'll be fixed in the next version.

User avatar
brynn
Posts: 10309
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:34 pm
Location: western USA
Contact:

Re: Improvement

Postby brynn » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:45 pm

Oh, I apologize if I missed something obvious. I might say I prefer the one on the left, because I only read English. In my mind, I'm thinking, why does it matter that the English alphabet letters have different sounds and the other alphabet, each letter only has one sound, if I only read/write/speak English (or only Shavian). So I wasn't sure if this is just an interesting poster which has meaning to linguists (in which case I'd look at it with beauty in mind), or if it was to be somehow instructional (in which case I'd look at it with clarity in mind). Is it to be printed, published, on paper, or on web? Etc., etc., ... (And also I went to school during the overhead projector era, so somewhere in my mind, I'm thinking of those "transparencies" which were sheets of clear plastic.)

Regarding the one on the right, which has a transparent background -- as I look at it, it's on the light blue background. But I think as you look at it, it must be on the yellow background. If you were planning to put it on the internet, you'd want to make sure the background was a light color. (Or give it an opaque background.) Just some thoughts :D

v1nce
Posts: 696
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:36 am

Re: Improvement

Postby v1nce » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:16 pm

Interchangeable wrote:Really? The idea is ease of readability. I thought that would be obvious from the comparisons at the bottom.


It looks like it is not.

Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:55 am

New version:

SVG Image

I removed the filters and added rectangles in the background.

To clear some misconceptions, Shavian is not a different language. It is an alternate writing system for English. (Again, it looks like I need to make that more obvious, not that I'm sure how.) When George Bernard Shaw died, he allotted a portion of his fortune for the creation of a more regular English alphabet (bough, dough, cough, enough, through, fought, hough [old spelling of hock], slough, thorough, throughout, you get the idea). Every letter in Shavian has one sound, and every sound has one letter to represent it. The alphabet has more ascenders (b, d, h) and descenders (g, j, p) than the Latin alphabet, which accentuates word shapes (the brain does not recognize the letters in the word but the word as a whole). It is shorthand and quickly written, and the most common English words are abbreviated as single letters to speed up writing.

You can find a pronunciation guide to the alphabet here.

User avatar
Maestral
Posts: 982
Joined: Sat Aug 27, 2011 7:10 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Maestral » Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:11 am

At first I was sure this is all about artistic impression but now it became even more interesting...

Perhaps you`ll find this at least informative if not interesting.
From time to time I meet people who are still more keen toward the "older edition" and have some remarks about this simplification and Vuk Karadzic`s work in general (that is, letters should have a 1:1 correspondence to sounds - following Johann Adelung's principle of "write as you speak and read as it is written"), but that previous one looks more like the current English one. What kind of reaction would Shavian produce among native English speakers?
:tool_zoom: <<< click! - but, those with a cheaper tickets should go this way >>> :!:

Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Sat Sep 15, 2012 9:10 am

I'm actually well aware of Serbian's two scripts. It's a lot less phonetic than you think; vowel length is phonemic (distinguishing) but not written.

And I'm aware the reaction would be mixed if Shavian were implemented. But I think most speakers would be happy to find that their children need less time to become literate, and they can now spell anything they can pronounce. (At least, I am.)

User avatar
brynn
Posts: 10309
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:34 pm
Location: western USA
Contact:

Re: Improvement

Postby brynn » Sat Sep 15, 2012 1:13 pm

Even though you've said you want us to choose according to ease of readability, I still have to wonder where it will usually be seen -- in print, or on the internet, or at least computer screen. And if this is very important, you may want to take color blindness into account....unless you don't plan to use colors, other than black and white. Although I have the impression that certain types of colorblindness affect black and/or white. But I'm certainly no expert.

The black on white (Shavian) I think is more easy to read, because the letters have more space between them. But put the same space between the English alphabet letters (on the left) and I would have a hard time choosing.

I still think a different font for the traditional alphabet (white on black) would help a lot. Or at least italics. Because in the black on white (Shavian) the alphabet letters are quite different from the other text ("Shavian alphabet:" and "48 letters. 1 letter = 1 sound"), and it makes them stand out better. With the white on black, the traditional alphabet uses the same font as all the other text, and that helps to make it harder to read.

But the more of this stuff you fix, the harder it will be to make a decision about which is easier to read. What I really don't understand, is why it matters whether it's black on white or white on black? If you need us to choose between black on white or white on black, you need to give us the same image both ways. Or am I stil missing the point?

Off topic:
Not that it matters to this discussion, but I don't quite understand this Shavian pronunciation thing. What about people who speak British English, or Australian English, or S. African English? Or what about accents. In the south and southeastern US, "dog" is often pronounced "dawg". How can the Shavian system handle accents? I actually was born and had all my schooling in that part of the US. I've lost the accent now. But I had a hard time learning how to read by phonetics, which was popular then. Especially the short e sounded as much like a short a, short u and short i, and I found then indistinguishable audibly (?). I learned to read by recognizing patterns of consonant sounds, because the short vowels sounds befuddled me. (I could win a bundle of money on Wheel of Fortune because I would never need to "buy a vowel", lol!) In other words the short vowels sounded the same to me because even within that region, there are many variations to the southern accent. Louisiana's accent is very different from Alabama's, which is very different from Georgia's, which is very different, etc., etc. Anyway, there are many variations, and that's just the southern accent. There's also New York, midwestern, Canadian, the infamous Baaaastan (Boston, Mass), etc., etc., which I'm sure all have several to many variations!

Then we have foreign language accents, French, Spanish, etc. What about words that are pronounced differently by the speaker's tradition -- "root" - some say "rooooot", others pronounce it like "foot" Same with "hoop" Wouldn't that mean there would be 2 spellings for the same word, depending on how the speaker pronounces it? Same with "dog" and "dawg" and we're back to accents again :shock: What about Black's accents (African Americans)?

So what I mean, is how can 48 letters cover all those sounds, and only have one sound per letter? I guess on first blush, I probably won't expect to be a fan of this, lol :lol: But I'll read the Wiki article, and maybe I'll understand better :D

Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:22 am

In Shavian everyone is permitted to spell a word as they pronounce it. Those with foreign accents spell according to the dialect they are learning. Simple.

Anyway, I realized that the alphabets side-by-side might not be the best way to present samples, so here's a new version with an actual statement. It's the first sentence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

SVG Image

User avatar
brynn
Posts: 10309
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:34 pm
Location: western USA
Contact:

Re: Improvement

Postby brynn » Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:51 am

I'm sorry, I'm still confused. Since they're both black on white now, what are we comparing? Are we now comparing the 2 .... languages?

Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:47 am

The two ways of writing English. That was the goal from the start.

v1nce
Posts: 696
Joined: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:36 am

Re: Improvement

Postby v1nce » Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:05 am

So you transcribe your words into phonetics but not using the
International Phonetic Alphabet but a custom one with no diacritics. That's it?

User avatar
brynn
Posts: 10309
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:34 pm
Location: western USA
Contact:

Re: Improvement

Postby brynn » Thu Sep 20, 2012 5:33 am

So when you said
Interchangeable wrote:Really? The idea is ease of readability. I thought that would be obvious from the comparisons at the bottom.

I thought you meant black on white or white on black or black on transparent. This is a graphics forum, not a linguistics forum.

Of course I prefer the English alphabet, because it's the only one I can read, write, and understand. But even if I knew both alphabets, I would prefer English. OMG I'm just thinking of all the misunderstanding that could be created by people spelling things as they sound on the forum. OMG, refer to my previous comments about local accents and foreign accents. What a nightmare!

Interchangeable wrote:Anyway, I realized that the alphabets side-by-side might not be the best way to present samples, so here's a new version with an actual statement. It's the first sentence of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Well, that's how it looks as you pronounce that statement. Now write it the way someone from Alabama would pronounce it. Now do it in a French accent. Now Spanish.

Interchangeable
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon May 07, 2012 1:52 am

Re: Improvement

Postby Interchangeable » Mon Sep 24, 2012 5:00 am

Interchangeable wrote:In Shavian everyone is permitted to spell a word as they pronounce it. Those with foreign accents spell according to the dialect they are learning. Simple.


There's no such thing as writing with an accent in Shavian, as I have said already. And I am well aware of the purpose of this forum; I am simply trying to make the alphabet look attractive and presentable, for which I need artistic advice, as I have also said already. The only reason you can write and understand the current orthography is because of three years or more of intensive study, and I doubt you know how to pronounce every word in the language; learning Shavian takes hardly a month.

Perhaps if I mocked the irregularities of the current system, which Shavian is designed to fix. Say, for example, on one side of the poster I have the -ough words, and on the other side I have those same words spelled in Shavian?

chriswww
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:04 pm

Re: Improvement

Postby chriswww » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:59 am

For barely artistic types like me, I found the best tutorial on picking colors is by using the wheel (more or less) intelligently. What this means is that you always use an existing color as a starting point, then nudge it the desired amount towards cooler or warmer and lighter or darker. That way you stay within a palette. In contrast, picking colors randomly from the wheel yields an un-coordinated paletee, that you try to push to look cohesive. By the way a pure black on white is a bit hard on the eyes. But so that you have enough contrast to aid readability, there's online contrast calculator calibrated to an ISO standard for this.


Return to “Work in progress”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests