Is there a correlation between Colour and Letterforms?

roland_scriver's picture

I am undertaking some research to discover if there are any relationships between individual letters and particular colours. I am also interested in how combinations of letters relate to particular colours, in this sense I am thinking of looking at linguistics, and the certain combinations of letters which correspond to particular sounds in various languages (for example 'll'='y' in spanish), th eproblem is that I have only been able to find one article on the subject which seems very inconclusive. Does anyone know of any thing else written on the subject?

speter's picture

What you're after is in general called "phonesthetics", so you could search for that. (Although you also seem to be mixing orthography in there, so the grapheme <ll> being used to represent [j] in Spanish wouldn't generally fall under phonesthetics, but more like the general trend that a high, front vowel is used in words for small items (teeny, tiny, etc.), while back vowels tend to be used for larger items (huge, etc.).) Since these deal with trends, you will find much that is inconclusive. That's the nature of the beast.

Also, the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis might be of interest to you, but only the weak form (that there is an influence) is tenable,

as8's picture

Beaumont, Michael. 1991, Caratteri & Colori; Ikon, Milano.

Careri, Francesco. 2003, Walkscapes: El andar como practica
estetica (Walking as an aesthetic practice); Gustavo Gili,

edeverett's picture

2003 Reith Lecture: Purple Numbers and Sharp Cheese.

You might find something intersesting here. It's not exactly type related, but maybe it'll help.

John Hudson's picture

Ah, synesthesia. Fascinating topic. Coincidentally, I saw another reference to this condition today, in a Guardian TV review of a recent documentary about the postmortem adventure's of Einstein's brain. It has been suggested that Einstein may have had some degree of synesthesia, prompting the documentary makers to interview a couple of synesthetics: apparently the name Albert Einstein 'tastes like yoghurty wafers'.

I've heard that some synesthetics experience text as colours, but I don't know of any references.

hangedup's picture

In poetry, Rimbaud(french poet,s.XIX) tried something with his "Voyelles" poem. English-French

as8's picture

I have been told that in Russian culture 20th century
they have at least 3 person, who, like Goethe in Germany
18th cent., had a vision of colors of letter in alphabet.

- Marina Cvetaeva
- Velimir Khlebnikov (e.g., 'L' is white in his alphabet)
- Andrej Belyj



Jorrit Tornquist
(has been my professor at Politecnico of Milan) :


roland_scriver's picture

Thankyou for all the information on this subject I have found it most useful, not to mention facinating.

Syndicate content Syndicate content