Neography is the art and craft of creating new writing systems, often called constructed scripts. They can be used for English, other languages, or even constructed languages called conlangs. Neography is much easier than learning or creating a language: you don’t need to be a linguistics genius.
Creating a script that only you can read—and whoever you share it with—is a surprisingly fun, useful, and personal endeavor. As communities are growing around this hobby, it’s increasingly becoming a kind of unique art form that combines linguistics, calligraphy, typography, graphic design, philosophy, and more.
Why create new writing systems?
Writing is a technology that changed civilization. It marks the end of prehistoric times and the beginning of human history. The power of this invention shouldn’t be overlooked due to its simplicity and ubiquity in modern life. It’s not surprising that it attracts curious and inventive minds to explore it through creativity.
There are many practical reasons why people construct scripts, and why you might want to make your own:
Keep notes, journals, and messages secret.
Build detailed sci‑fi and fantasy worlds.
Learn about linguistics through creativity.
Write faster, more easily, and more compact.
Fix the chaos of English spelling.
Explore aesthetic and symbolic possibilities.
A brief history of neography
Writing systems and languages are often described as evolving naturally like biological life forms. But writing is a human invention, so it’s not always clear-cut what counts as a natural or invented script.
Nevertheless, some notable examples include the Korean script invented in 1443 and Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics in 1840. In the 19th century, many innovative forms of writing were invented for particular purposes, including Braille for the visually impaired and Morse code for telecommunication.
한글은홀소리와닿소리모두소리틀을본떠만든음소문자로한글맞춤법에서는닿소리 14개과홀소리 10개, 모두 24개를표준으로삼는다.
Speculative fiction in the 20th century began a new fronteir. The most prominent and influential example is Tengwar, the Elvish script from Middle‑earth created by J. R. R. Tolkien and famously inscribed on the One Ring.
In the 21st century, many are following in Tolkien’s footsteps. The hobby of inventing languages or imaginary worlds, or both, has exploded in popularity.
How to get started
This website is a crash course for beginners and a handy reference for intermediate neographers. The pages linked below are all you need for a solid foundation. The first two will help you understand the fundamental knowledge, and the next two teach you how to create scripts.
Learn how writing systems across the world and throughout history work.
Master all the sounds of speech. Learning IPA is easier than it looks!
Learn the art and techniques of designing a really good script.
Learn by example from skilled neographers.
There’s a fair bit of jargon in this hobby, but it’s all handily explained here.
See all the creative scripts that people have made and join the active community!
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