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Typographic Synthesizer Makes Fonts Like Music

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Written by Paul Strauss | February 22, 2008

This unconventional design tool provides a unique way to create new typefaces. Working somewhat like an analog music synthesizer, knobs and button pushes influence the shape of your font characters.

Meek FM Typographic Synthesizer

Designed by Rob Meek and Frank Müller, the Meek FM Typographic Synthesizer uses a custom controller device along with special software to allow manipulation of typography as you adjust the controls. The system reads in a standard PostScript typeface, then lets the “musician” dynamically adjust parameters to create new fonts.

Meek FM Typographic Synthesizer

The controller lets users adjust parameters such as the size of font serifs, horizontal/vertical scale, add distortion and a number of other attributes, all guided by audio feedback to get you in a creative mood. Check out the video clip below to see the Meek FM in action.

Meek FM Typographic Synthesizer

Once you’ve applied modifications to a single character in the typeface, the same parameters can be instantly applied to all the other characters, and then the font can be saved for future use.

Meek FM Typographic Example

Meek FM Typographic Synthesizer

Very cool stuff indeed. After all, what was the last time you saw a synthesizer with knobs that say “Serif Length” or “Glyph Rotate”?