Double Keys

by Salome Schmuki
pigment print on Hahnemhüle archival paper
available exclusively through New Laconic
16.34 x 23.2 inches, 2017

You won’t find this guy in your ophthalmologist’s office.

Double Keys is a poster print that will imbue your walls with both clean design and mystery.

The sixteen characters are based on letters from the Latin alphabet, but not quite recognizable. Reminiscent of an alphabet poster, yet never so concrete, Double Keys resists interpretation and legibility.

Your eyes want to read the letters, but sense hovers just out of reach in favor of play.

Is anything really standard about written language? Literacy only became widespread in the last century. Spelling wasn’t standardized until a hundred years ago. Is it at all innate? The characters on the poster defy the alphabet as much as they imitate one. It’s a paradox ready to enchant the wall of your home, studio, or anywhere else.


A graduate of the Hochschule der Künste, Zurich, CH, and the Gerrit Rietveld Academie of Design, Amsterdam, NL, Schmuki has long been interested in written language and its dynamic nature. Through design research, she has become deeply familiar with typefaces and their effects, and her work investigates visual language perception.

Her book, Dyslexia—chunking along a straight line—at the crossing turn left (Jan van Eyck Academie, NL, 2013) presents her research and insight into dyslexia and typeface design. Dyslexia received the Prix Fernand Baudin in 2013.