Taking inspiration from Genevieve Seille’s work during our trip to the V&A library, I have decided to begin some research on how I should go around creating the secret code for my designs.
First I of all I went back to Genevieve Seille to if she had done any other notable work with codes, or to see if there were any pages from the book which I had missed. To my surprise I found that she did create another piece related to secret code, or a piece that at least looks like it is code. The book itself is actually made of wood craft (something which I discovered was a common attribute to her other works. Using this to her advantage, she made the book completely intractable, with little compartments and moving parts, allowing a more interesting design as well as adding puzzle elements to the secret code.
The typeface of the “book” itself is very rough and untidy, with scribblings all across the entire surface, some of which looks like not much care was really put into writing it. This however actually improves the idea of the design as the rough pencil work of the letters and numbers makes sense, as the code would have no reason to be neatly written if the creator was someone trying to quickly piece together information within their aged wooden book. The use of both letters and numbers within the book also adds further misery to what the code actually means and how it is solved.
The next idea I looked at was around a very classical use of code which is known as alphabet code, a type of code where the writer either moves the letters of the alphabet forward/backwards to the ones they intend to use, or they mix up all the letters the alphabet and use their original place (replacement) as if writing as normal.
As an example for the key bellow, “Fade” would be spelled as “Idgh”.
While this is a very well known and classic type of of secret code, I am more interested in the third and most complicated version of alphabetical code, as it far more difficult to decode the than the previous.
The third type of code I am talking about is the use of symbols to replace the letters of the alphabet, effectively creating my whole new secret alphabet that only the writer can read. This will not only allow me to create a normal code, but also unsovleable code which can just as fill for a whole page, keeping to the theme of mystery, but possibly also sending some more dedicated readers on a wild goose chase.
Above is an example of symbol designs which I could use for my final piece, with the word “the” spelled in my secret alphabet.
Overall, I believe that I will use the “new alphabet” idea for my code as it seems the most fitting compared to my other pages, as they are much more left to for the imagination, just the this design idea, which will inspire the reader to make their own little theories based on what they can see.
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