In our archives (and soon to be on display!) is Masumi Shibata’s “UED.” “UED” stands for Uncertain English Dictionary. Shibata’s creative vision not only incorporates design and clean and sturdy case bound technique, but the content is crucial in its necessity to form a connection through a universal symptom of disconnect.
Collection Spotlight: Masumi Shibata’s “UED”
The “UED” is a gathering of cultural diversifications of the English language and seeks to inform the reader of a growing acceptance of an umbrella of linguistic interpretations- a culture not created from the deviation of one root, but a celebration of differences. Gathered and prepared for a new articulation, the UED provides space in which to practice writing out new understandings, as well as pronunciation of words.
The Uncertain English Dictionary varies from a standard index in that it is not the consensus of a consortium of authorities, but the expressed opinion of one individual. Shibata makes no excuses for this primary authority, instead seeming to offer a window into his language, with hopes that the wide reach of non-verbal inferences will be apparent to the viewer. Below the title is both the assertion of Masumi Shibata as Editor in Chief and the logo of MasumiEducational, the branding under which Shibata’s other efforts fall.
[click to enlarge!]
The graphic design component is also significant. Shibata uses the clean and non-threatening efficiency of Helvetica, yet skews the writing by clean cutting it in half and re-assembling stalks of stems, bowls, arms and legs. The result is a hard to identify combination of fonted flurry, negating the simplicity and asserting the disconnect that the viewer/reader must work through to extract meaning. The definition, however, is expressed in clear and simple language. Shibata may be playing with the role of graphics in our interpretation of language, or merely leading us through a process that shows us the patience of decoding symbols, leading us through mental exercise.