Chromatic Typewriter

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A classic typewriter prints letters and words using a ubiquitous black and red inked ribbon. That led Washington-based artist Tyree Callahan to imagine what it would be like to type using a full spectrum of colours. Callahan set about modifying a 1937 Underwood Standard typewriter by adding a series of ink pads to the ends of each typebar and a coordinating colour coded keyboard. The result is the quirky Chromatic Typewriter. Moving from left to right, the individual keys on his converted typewriter transition from a warm to cool palette. This enables the user to create an image by typing out small hits of colour, rather than letters. “It seems to be making a lot of people happy,” says Callahan, “and it has started some great discussions on the translation of art into words and words into art. And folks with synesthesia seem to like it the most.” His novel invention gives new meaning to the phrase “colourful language.”


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