Thursday, July 5, 2012

Alphabet for the Traveller

For my fifth set of letters - and the first for 2012 - I have cheated a tad by using information downloaded from Wikipedia.
I have made a timber box with 26 storage bays. I have then printed out each letter and glued them onto individual timber cards. The outline of the card is covered in hand-made paper and painted black. On the reverse side of the card are the semaphore flag symbols and morse code characters. Each card then fits into its own bay in the box, and a lid holds them in place...
For the letters I have used the Algerian Font. 
This handy box is a useful accompaniment for any intrepid traveller – both on land and at sea.

Box with lid

Rverse side with lid

Algerian is a decorative serif digital font family, a knock off of the Keystone Foundry's nineteenth-century face Glyphic. The design for the typeface is owned by Linotype, while the name 'Algerian' is a trademark of the International Typeface Corporation. This font was created in 1988.

Semaphore Flags is the system for conveying information at a distance by means of visual signals with hand-held flags, rods, disks, paddles, or occasionally bare or gloved hands. Information is encoded by the position of the flags; it is read when the flag is in a fixed position.
The modern flag semaphore system uses two short poles with square flags, which a signalman holds in different positions to signal letters of the alphabet and numbers. The signalman holds one pole in each hand, and extends each arm in one of eight possible directions. Except for in the rest position, the flags cannot overlap. The flags are coloured differently based on whether the signals are sent by sea or by land. At sea, the flags are coloured red and yellow (the Oscar flag), while on land, they are white and blue (the Papa flag). Flags are not required - they just make the characters more obvious.

Morse Code is a method of transmitting text information as a series of on-off tones, lights, or clicks that can be directly understood by a skilled listener or observer without special equipment.
Each character (letter or numeral) is represented by a unique sequence of dots and dashes. The duration of a dash is three times the duration of a dot. Each dot or dash is followed by a short silence, equal to the dot duration. The letters of a word are separated by a space equal to three dots (one dash), and two words are separated by a space equal to seven dots. The dot duration is the basic unit of time measurement in code transmission.

cheers - Ken Munsie - gotta dash - what was that dot ?


  1. Amazing - I admire so much your skills and the inspiring pieces you've made.

    I look forward to keep seeing what you're doing.


  2. WOw! these are great!

    (and I am so in awe of anybody who can say with nonchalance "I built a timber box...")

  3. Wow - stunning work and SO creative! Each of the elements contributes beautifully to complement the whole.

  4. This is a very cool interpretation, to say the least!

  5. What fun - great work. Well done!

  6. gee thanks everyone ...
    cheers - dash dot dash

  7. Just love this alphabet Ken. Quite a lovely contrast to all of us who started first on our 'dotty' alphabets. The wooden box is fabulous. I will make a great addition to your previous alphabets.

  8. I love the whole idea, the letters and the semaphore flags and the Morse Code. What a way to fill the alphabet with life and significance! As for the box... it's an achievement in itself.

  9. Ken this is fabulous. So many skills and elements, a wonderful presentation, and an alphabet by three. I love it.

  10. Here you are, we dont hear or see anything the whole six months!!! And then you come up with something amazing, looks great, love it!

  11. Trust you to come up with something "in the box" and not "OUT of the Box"...great flies on you Kenneth! Well done!

  12. Love Love Love your work Ken. An air of steampunk about the project, me thinks.


Thanks for taking the time to comment on our work - it's always good to hear what folk think!