The visual world around us is teeming with words: adverts, street art, signposts, menus, newspapers, pub signs. We skim over them, extracting basic information and forgetting them as quickly as a cliché in conversation. Our attention might be momentarily arrested by an stylised font, quirky placement, bright colour or unusual size of lettering, but we’re busy people with places to go, activities to undertake and texts to read so we leave these words and we forget them.
I’ve been shortlisted for the STV Digital Spark Award (woo hoo!). My pitch is to create Lexigraph: a way of encouraging people to spend a little more time with this world of words, to find a new appreciation for the lettered-over landscape of everyday life and to share that appreciation with others.
It’s basically a scissor-free digital mash-up of those ransom-notes you used to make as kids, cutting words and letters out of different newspapers and magazines. You find words on pub signs, letters spray-painted on the side of a building and you snap a photo with your camera-phone, then crop the image. Through Lexigraph you contribute your “found” words to a shared library and it allows you to seamlessly repost your tweets, your status updates or that poem you wrote last week as a glorious image. Think of it as an involved way of making your flash-fiction flashier, your love-notes more colourful, or your 2,000 word essay unforgettably epic.
I’ll be pitching Lexigraph to the panel of judges & an audience at the #STVspark event at the Dundee Literary Festival on Saturday 25th. It would be great if you came along and voted for me, or tweeted your support on the night. In the meantime, please send me words via Twitter using the hashtag #lexigraph. I want to gather together a wide range of found words to jazz up my five minute pitch: help me make it happen.
Any Scottish-based techie types who’d like to put in an expression of interest in working with me to get Lexigraph up and running (if I win the award), please get in touch.