Brief History

Read Between The Lines: to find an implicit meaning in addition to the obvious one. From early times on this technique of writing messages was often used and later on developed into different ways of encryption. By taking a written letter as a distraction, making use of invisible ink to write the secret message in between the lines of the already written text in regular ink. The recipiant would then read the information in between the lines.


Cryptography has developed into many different systems in which typography is playing a big role. Starting to research about cryptographic systems that are being used on digital platforms, I concluded that these systems are rather complex to understand. This project got inspired from an older cryptography technique called “Reading In Between The Lines”. With this technique a hidden message was written in invisible ink in between the lines of the letter’s text. This example put me to think into a solution that would be easier in use than many of the contemporary cryptographic systems. Every form of

cryptography is making use of typography, so what if the typography becomes cryptographic systems the system? The solution was found through a typeface that is becoming the key to encrypt the message. A monospace▼ typeface that would be horizontally cut in half. For writing one line of text there are two lines of text needed. The monospace design makes it possible to make other combinations, where the top and bottom parts of the letters can be swapped. In addition to the encryption the typeface also makes use of the Unicode system in a different way than expected.

► each letter has the same fixed-width.

Mix up the Unicode

Mix up the Unicode Unicode is an international standard for glyphs and normally the Unicode makes sure everything is in order and glyphs don't get mixed up. When a message is sent to someone the recipient will get exactly what you typed. For the opperating system it is a whole different story. This system works with a line of code excisting out of four digits and/ or letters which by reading the line of code provided by the opperating system the computer can recognize 'words'. To make sure the encryption becomes more complicated to read for the computer it is nessesary to mix up the Unicode. So the correspondance of for instance the code behind key 'a'

will not display an 'a' but something else, like the letter 'K'. This piece of Unicode says "For example here is a string of code that the computer will read and attach the right glyph to:"

0046 006f 0072 0065 0078 0061 006 d007 006c 0065 0068 0065 0072 0065 0069 0073 0061 0073 0074 0072 0069 006e 0067 006f 0066 0063 006f 0064 0065 0074 0068 0061 0074 0074 0068 0065 0063 006f 006d 0070 0075 0074 0065 0072 0077 0069 0 06c 006c 0072 0065 0061 0064 0061 006e 0064 0061 0074 0074 0061 0063 0068 0074 0068 0065 0072 0069 0067 0068 0074 0073 0079 006d 0062 006f 006c 0074 006f 003a

Standard type library

To optimize userbility, the CryptoKey has been made for the use of the standard library found on every opperating system. From this library the typeface Arial is one of the most extensive fonts in there and used to set CryptoKey. Arial contains four families, this allows the user to choose between the different styles for use. Typefaces contain a whole range of gyphs▼ to write different accents. For accessing all the letters, the program used needs to be able to display all glyphs like the program Indesign can show glyphs. To extend the encryption and complexity of the code, the CryptoKey makes use of these glyphs. Since the CryptoKey that has been made for ecryption, the font does not contain these accents, so there is more space to put the basic alphabet spread over the glyphs. This works the same for the other families and the availible glyphs.

► An individual letter or symbol in a text.


Bold Italic

Basic Latin and Latin 1

! " # $ % & ' ( ) * + , - . / 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 : ; < = > ? @ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z [ \ ] ^ _ ` a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z { | } ~ ¡ ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ¦ § ¨ © ª « ¬ ® ¯ ° ± ² ³ ´ µ ¶ · ¸ ¹ º » ¼ ½ ¾ ¿ À Á Â Ã Ä Å Æ Ç È É Ê Ë Ì Í Î Ï Ð Ñ Ò Ó Ô Õ Ö × Ø Ù Ú Ü Ý Þ ß à á â ã ä å ç è é ê ë ì í î ï ð ñ ò ó ô õ ö ÷ ø ù ú û ü ý þ ÿ

Extended Latin A

Ā ā Ă ă Ą ą Ć ć Ĉ ĉ Ċ ċ Č č Ď ď Đ đ Ē ē Ĕ ĕ Ė ė Ę ę Ě ě Ĝ ĝ Ğ ğ Ġ ġ Ģ ģ Ĥ ĥ Ħ ħ Ĩ ĩ Ī ī Ĭ ĭ Į į İ ı IJ ij Ĵ ĵ Ķ ķ ĸ Ĺ ĺ Ļ ļ Ľ ľ Ŀ ŀ Ł ł Ń ń Ņ ņ Ň ň ʼn Ŋ ŋ Ō ō Ŏ ŏ Ő ő Œ œ Ŕ ŕ Ŗ ŗ Ř ř Ś ś Ŝ ŝ Ş ş Š š Ţ ţ Ť ť Ŧ ŧ Ũ ũ Ū ū Ŭ ŭ Ů ů Ű ű Ų ų Ŵ ŵ Ŷ ŷ Ÿ Ź ź Ż ż Ž ž ſ

Extended Latin B

ƀ Ɓ Ƃ ƃ Ƅ ƅ Ɔ Ƈ ƈ Ɖ Ɗ Ƌ ƌ ƍ Ǝ Ə Ɛ Ƒ ƒ Ɠ Ɣ ƕ Ɩ Ɨ Ƙ ƙ ƚ ƛ Ɯ Ɲ ƞ Ɵ Ơ ơ Ƣ ƣ Ƥ ƥ Ʀ Ƨ ƨ Ʃ ƪ ƫ Ƭ ƭ Ʈ Ư ư Ʊ Ʋ Ƴ ƴ Ƶ ƶ Ʒ Ƹ ƹ ƺ ƻ Ƽ ƽ ƾ ƿ ǀ ǁ ǂ ǃ DŽ Dž dž LJ Lj lj NJ Nj nj Ǎ ǎ Ǐ ǐ Ǒ ǒ Ǔ ǔ Ǖ ǖ Ǘ ǘ Ǚ ǚ Ǜ ǜ ǝ Ǟ ǟ Ǡ ǡ Ǣ ǣ Ǥ ǥ Ǧ ǧ Ǩ ǩ Ǫ ǭ Ǯ ǯ ǰ DZ Dz dz Ǵ ǵ Ƕ Ƿ Ǹ ǹ Ǻ ǻ Ǽ ǽ Ǿ ǿ Ȁ ȁ Ȃ ȃ Ȅ ȅ Ȇ ȇ Ȉ ȉ Ȋ ȋ Ȍ ȍ Ȏ ȏ Ȑ ȑ Ȓ ȓ Ȕ ȕ Ȗ ȗ Ș ș Ț ț Ȝ ȝ Ȟ ȟ Ƞ ȡ Ȣ ȣ Ȥ ȥ Ȧ ȧ Ȩ ȩ Ȫ ȫ Ȭ ȭ Ȯ ȯ Ȱ ȱ Ȳ ȳ ȴ ȵ ȶ ȷ ȸ ȹ Ⱥ Ȼ ȼ Ƚ Ⱦ ȿ ɀ Ɂ ɂ Ƀ Ʉ Ʌ Ɇ ɇ Ɉ ɉ Ɋ ɋ Ɍ ɍ Ɏ ɏ

Punctuation ― Currency ― Numbers ―
Super- & Subscripts

! " # % & ' ( ) * , - . / : ; ? @ [ \ ] _ { } ¡ « · » ¿ ‒ – — ― ‗ ‘ ’ ‚ ‛ “ ” „ ‟ † ‡ • … ‰ ′ ″ ‴ ‹ › ‼ ‾ ⁞
$ ¢ £ ¤ ¥ ₠ ₡ ₢ ₣ ₤ ₥ ₦ ₧ ₨ ₩ ₪ ₫ ₮ ₯ ₰ ₱ ₲ ₳ ₴ ₵
² ³ ¹ ᵢ ᵣ ᵤ ᵥ ᵦ ᵧ ᵨ ᵩ ᵪ ⁿ ₐ ₑ ₒ ₓ ₔ
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ² ³ ¹ ¼ ½ ¾ ⅓ ⅔ ⅛ ⅜ ⅝ ⅞

Finding the message

Aligning the words to make sense out of the words, is THE step to the ecryption of the message. By writing the text in such a way that when sent the alignment is not correct. By making the text box wider or more narrow the alignment can be alternated. This step is not recreateable by any system. The alignment can only be made correct by the human since only they are able to make the correction on the text. Illustrating here how the message is received and how to re-align the text box to find the hidden message.

Putting it into use

For writing the message there are a few steps involved before sending one. The message in question needs to be written when the CryptoKey is activated for readability.

When finished writing put the text in a prefered typeface.

By copying the text into an email, the last step is to send it to the receiver of the message.

When received by the recipiant the steps to reading the message are the reversed order of writing and sending.

▼ mouse over from left to right ▼

▼ mouse over from left to right ▼


Used typefaces: Arial & CryptoKey
With special thanks to Niels Schrader, Lauren Alexander and Thomas Buxó.
Royal Academy of Art, The Hague. (KABK)