10
$\begingroup$

This question already has an answer here:

I could spend weeks trying to make a script and the glyphs are still either extremely ugly or just a bunch of scribbles. Then, I look at things like Moonsong and Sun Script and I have no idea how people make anything like that. So, I was wondering. Does anyone have any tips or strategies for making a nice-looking script?

$\endgroup$

marked as duplicate by TrEs-2b, sphennings, Vylix, Frostfyre, Josh King Aug 10 '17 at 14:02

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • $\begingroup$ Keep them simple, fit them into a rectangle $\endgroup$ – Kilisi Apr 8 '17 at 4:54
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think this is on-topic with the worldbuilding-process tag. Is “any tips?” too broad? If the subject is narrow enough, that should be fine too. $\endgroup$ – JDługosz Apr 8 '17 at 8:00
  • $\begingroup$ Try googling things like: "How to make a font?" $\endgroup$ – dot_Sp0T Apr 8 '17 at 8:21
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Figure out how the script was started. Was it based on hand drawn writing? Would they use pens or perhaps scratch with their own claws? What was the material they wrote on? Runes lack horizontal lines because those would split the wood. So they only have vertical and diagonal lines. Figuring out where they came from gives you a nice amount of boundaries. $\endgroup$ – Mormacil Apr 8 '17 at 9:16
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ What kind of glyphs? Do you mean letters for a language, like the alphabet or hiragana? Or individual word meanings, like kanji or hieroglyphics? Or do you mean magical glyphs? $\endgroup$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Apr 8 '17 at 14:01
11
$\begingroup$

I started with some principles: writing could go in any direction and glyphs can be written with any orientation or reflection, so they had to be distinct and not differ due to symmetry only.

For alien numerals, each glyph is written in a square bounding region. It touches the sides of the bounds. Each digit (0 through 8) is the simplest curve that has n intersections or endpoints.

I don’t remember what I did for other glyphs. But, one idea is to make the drawing structure based on the underlying sound (or whatever), like Tengwar. In my alien commerce-interchange code, there were a set of A and a set of B and a “syllable” used one of each set. For us we would use consonants and vowels for A and B. Another sound-based species may have different ideas of what sounds to make. A gesture based language for example uses tenticle joints and postures.

So, syllables had glyphs that systematically encode one A and one B value.

A series of posts on the Artifexian YouTube channel goes over some ideas, and he settled on something that was also a “structural” system, not arbitrary glyphs but some architectural correspondence to their sounds.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ For a real world example of "structural" glyphs, some people say that the letters of the Korean alphabet reflect the articulation of the sounds. $\endgroup$ – AlexP Apr 8 '17 at 11:13
5
$\begingroup$

My favourite method:

(Works best if you have very non-neat handwriting, go to school, and have a teacher who dictates a lot.)

Get someon to dictate a long text quickly. Don't try to write neatly, as that ruins the point of the excersise. After you have a page of ugly text, you can finish, as you probably have a lot of random letters that look fine in the word, but completely alien out of context. Just look through the page for anything strnge, and copy it out. There will be similar letters, but you should have some nice, relatively random glyphs.

$\endgroup$
1
$\begingroup$

You could use a calligraphy pen to draw them, almost anything looks cooler when it's not just thin lines.

$\endgroup$
0
$\begingroup$

Cuneiform writing was called that because a wedge shaped tool pressed into clay was used to make all the characters. I think it looks cool.

From reference.com

enter image description here

Maybe each of your characters is made using a curved tool pressed into clay. That would look cool and also be reproducible.

You might wind up with something that looks like the Tamil alphabet. Or you could just steal the Tamil alphabet, which I think is awesome.

enter image description here

If you do, you should have the actual words say "Tamil readers I hope you will forgive my using these sweet letters for my story!"

$\endgroup$

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.