Video: New letter for ‘The’ – Ћ – invented

Ok, let’s be honest, it’s not really been ‘invented’ (the design and use of glyphs in language isn’t new) but this is interesting. Cited by its author as a way of saving time, the new character for the humble ‘the’ was proposed recently as a useful shortcut – so if you need to save microseconds typing one character versus three then I guess this is your bag.

Perhaps more interesting is the question (or should I use ‘?’) this raises for the way we now ‘write’ (type?) and the prospect of the compression of our typographic language into symbols. Does this set a hare running for the re-representation of other words, paraphrasing their sound (or meaning) into simpler symbols? With an increasing predilection (‘:-}, perhaps?) for iconography, in part I suspect due to the shrinking real estate of the digital page / screen, the idea that we could represent common words with symbols isn’t so far-fetched. So why not a symbol based on a ligature of  ‘hn’ for ‘home’ or ‘<>’ for ‘about’?

For language to catch on, all it requires is enough cultural momentum so maybe it’s time for our Latin alphabet to undergo a reappraisal? Typefaces already come designed with an extended range of characters, so working new symbols in isn’t dependent on the design of our Qwerty keyboards, more our tolerance or appetite for something to replace habit.

Be interesting to see where Ћ, takes us.

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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Design, Re-thinking


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