Scientific Typeface Illustrates 26 Great Inventions

A glossary of the 26 inventions that have most changed the world have been turned into a literal ABCs, thanks to a new typeface by New Delhi design student Khyati Trehan.

The project is called the Beauty of Scientific Diagrams. Trehan’s intricate typeface represents 26 important technological advancements by diagramming a Roman alphabet of how they work. She illustrates, in letters, such inventions as Archimedes’ Water Screw, Thomas Edison’s Phonograph, Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin, and more.

According to Trehan, who posted a free e-book online about how she designed the typeface, the project was originally inspired by a book she read about William Harvey, a 17th-century English physician who was the first to explain the circulatory system. Frustrated by how difficult it was to visualize the working of a human heart, Trehan experimented with visualizing the first initial of Harvey’s name, William, as a circulatory system in its own right.

Her proof-of-concept turned out so well that Trehan realized that streamlining the schematics of seemingly complicated systems into typography could be a valuable learning tool. She decided to flesh out the concept, and switched her focus from medicine to technology.

Trehan sketched out the entire alphabet, then focused her efforts into the 11 letters that she felt she had the best concepts for. She turned those into educational posters, and hopes they will be used by schools, libraries, and science labs–not only as mnemonic devices to help students remember famous inventions, but also as quick visualizations of core technological concepts.

You can buy prints here.JB