Spanish as a Visual Language: Translating Language and Culture through Design + Typography


  • Jake Cohen, Visual Communications, University of Delaware

Faculty Mentor(s)

  • Aaron Terry, Department of Art & Design, University of Delaware


Over my undergraduate career, I have studied both Spanish and Graphic Design separately but never had the opportunity to connect the two together. This Summer, I traveled to Spain for two weeks, immersing myself in Spanish culture and language. In visiting several regions of the country, I studied design trends from the past and present, and investigated ways in which Spanish linguistics corresponded with design and typography. In each location I visited, I explored larger cultural monuments and took pictures of street posters, street art, and signage to gain an understanding of each region’s distinct graphic identity.

As a response, I have created designs of my own that aim to explore the complexities of Spanish language and culture in a visual manner. Some of these specific themes include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Studying how regional language conflicts exist in one space and are communicated through design.
  • Visualizing linguistic phenomena characteristic of Spain’s Spanish dialects.
  • Exploring regionalism in Spain and finding ways to use design to convey national identity.

Overall, my studies serve to communicate the nuances of culture and language through the elements and principles of design.