How to wear a squid is an experimental visual language project that emerged out of the experiences of the artist dealing with foreign languages.

If you do not understand the language of a speaker, you only hear noise. A word in a foreign language creates a fictional world around us. Learning a new language means dismantling one's own reality and bringing it into a new form. The process of learning a language shows the characteristics of language: subjectivity, abstraction and arbitrariness.

This project does not analyse language according to etymology, but by finding and creating images in the common letter combinations that make up the words. There are nine prefix prototypes from which words are derived as forms. These words build on the prefix in various ways and generate many possible narratives. The resulting visual prototype language is very limited but can also generate an infinite number of shapes and combinations. For example, the words ‘catch’ or ‘catalogue’ possess the prefix ‘cat’.

The images are also part of the typeface enabled through the OpenType feature ‘Discretionary Ligature.’ This feature transforms the process of typing into a playful and surprising activity.

Sun Young Oh comes from South Korea and started Communication Design at HfG Karlsruhe in 2013. In May 2019 she concluded her studies with her diploma work How to wear a squid. Her focus is on building new tools and experimentation as well as humor and play through design. She often applies random combinatorics through a self-generated system to obtain unexpected visual results.