1 Inventions of Ian James
2 Other writing systems
3 Font & script services

The Art & Science of Script-making

1 Inventions of Ian James

1.1 Miscellaneous scripts

In the process of developing a writing system for the a priori language SIGIL (see 1.2 below), I became interested in orthographical experiments and problem-solving in the contexts of other languages. Many of the resulting scripts can also be found on Simon Ager’s excellent website Omniglot. Note that the IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) is used throughout to transcribe the sounds.

1.1.1 Various experiments 1.1.2 The original Phonological Cypher Series

1.2 Scripts for SIGIL

The writing system for SIGIL has been in parallel development with the a priori language since 2006. The language enforces phonological specifications upon the script, and the needs of writing and reading also make practical demands upon the design. These conflicting aspects have resulted in numerous experiments and revisions, but in almost every case, the design is phonetic-featural. Details about the language and its evolution will be found in the book Language for the World. Note that versions 1 through 23 of the script (and one or two others) were rejected from this list, being either structurally awkward or visually unappealing.

The SIGIL language (including its phoneme set) is in the final stages of development. I am mostly satisfied with Slinseng-Fi, Slinsen-Yi and Pranish for the writing of it, and these will be representative in published articles from now on.

1.3 Visual index

See a list of my invented scripts, which can be identified at a glance. with

1.4 Tattoos

See a discussion of how neographies make great tattoos.

1.5 Artificial voice

Temporarily here until the Music production section is ready, this is a recent example of my developing Vox program speaking the first line of Shakespeare’s sonnet 18, using OP (original pronunciation). It can also sing.

9th January 2016


2 Other writing systems

2.1 Traditional scripts for natural languages

Some ancient scripts are under-appreciated, usually for lack of proper presentation; some more recent scripts are very beautiful. These pages try to fill in some gaps. In many cases, I have developed fonts for use in the charts; some fonts are available to the public.

2.2 Various other invented scripts

Over recent centuries, some individuals have designed writing systems for personal use or for special occasions. Others have wanted something distinctive for their previously unwritten language. This is a small but still expanding set of interesting examples, in chronological order. Again, some charts use fonts I have developed myself.

(You may like to offer motivation for continued research & development :)


3 Font & script services


metal type - section mark


All material on this page © Ian James.
Last modified Feb.6,2016