Tag Archives: Definition of synsemia

A further definition of synsemia

We publish a further illustration of the idea of synsemia we published in italian in “Nova24” of  “Il Sole 24 Ore” last October. This “definition” was written by us after long discussions with Antonio Perri and Giovanni Lussu.

[Synsemia] “[…] is defined as deliberately and consciously placing elements of written language in space, in order to communicate, through space articulation, regularly and in a reasonably unambiguous way. These regularities may only be valid for a specific case, but they must be consistent, rigorous and interpretable without requiring support from the author. They may equally be defined by precise patterns and established habits of assimilation.”

“The term synsemia is comprised of the prefix syn, which comes from Greek (‘with’, ‘together’, used contemporaneously also in the sense of ‘union’), and the noun semía, which comes from ‘sema’, or ‘sign’). Synsemia indicates the means in which signs are found together (in space). The term was coined in 2007 by Giovanni Lussu and Antonio Perri and forms part of critical view that is counterpoint to a lineal and alphabet-centric vision of written language”.

“In this context, the spatial arrangement has a value that is not only instructive but also heuristic: it enables discovery, allows tests to be developed and, therefore, plays a leading role in deductive processes”.

(Perondi, L., Romei, L., 2010, “Letture da recuperare”, in «Nova24» of «Il Sole 24 Ore”, n. 245, 28th October, p. 12-13; english translation by Francesco Franchi in http://www.francescofranchi.com/graphic-literature, 1st April, 2011).

We thank Francesco Franchi (art director for IL – Intelligence in lifestyle of Il Sole 24 Ore) for the translation of the definition we gave in the article “Letture da recuperare” published in “Nova24” of “Il Sole 24 Ore” n. 245  and on “La vita nòva”, iPad App of “Il Sole 24 Ore” (n. 2, v 1.1, April 2011).

Luciano Perondi, Leonardo Romei