Monday, 27 July 2020 14:51

A language without letters, by Japanese graphic designer Yukio Ota

The name of this language, on which Professor Ota has laboured since 1964, is LoCoS — “Lovers’ Communication System.” The name reflects his hope that readers and writers will communicate “as effortlessly as lovers.” LoCoS is essentially a type of purely visual Esperanto.

LoCoS Yukio Ota

Unlike most written languages, LoCoS represents concepts rather than sounds — in this way it in fact has much in common with some of the earliest proto-writing systems.

LoCoS Yukio Ota

The basic building blocks are simple, modifiable shapes that each represent an idea, person or place.

LoCoS Yukio Ota

LoCoS has a simple and logical system for representing abstract ideas. Once you know the base symbol, related symbols — with visually logical modifications — are easy to understand and remember.

LoCoS Yukio Ota

For more on this idiosyncratic but fascinating “language without letters,” read the following piece by Australian graphic designer Cris Gaul:

Is this language without letters the future of global communication?

Exit sign Yukio Ota

Via bibliophile and rare book collector Incunabula.

Somewhat related from the archives: Hobo signs and symbols.