Main semantic levels

Content area type of pages

Widget area content


Icons overview


There are two main areas on the data pages. The content area on the right and the widget area on the left.

Two main areas on the data pages

Content area

This area contains all the available data in CITY OF 8 data. From quote to keyword, from parameter to primary shape. In the example above the data is about the keyword “distance”.

Widget area

This area adds usability with extra buttons. Some widgets are always present: the search field, the semantic color space, both on top of the area, as well as the comment option at the bottom of the area. The other buttons in this area can change according to the kind of data displayed in the content area.  In the example the buttons of “blue synaesthesia” below the semantic color space are specific for the keyword “distance”.

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Main semantic levels

The semantic data in CITY OF 8 data is divided into three levels of meaning.

Dimensional level

Dimensional keywords are the most abstract terms in language and are close to logic signs such as indirect/direct, dark/light or open/closed. These words are the elementary markers of meaning and make synaesthetic translations possible. They appear always in opposite pairs of antonyms placed in the 3-dimensional matrix.


8-level keywords are more complex in meaning and less abstract, as they are constructions of dimensional keywords. But still they are mostly basic words such as “to know”, “to sit”, “food” and primary color names such as “blue”, “green” etc. Most of these words also have an antonym, but not all of them. Compare for example the dimensional keyword ‘hard’ against the level-8 keyword ‘mountain’ coded with color code BROWN. As such, ‘hard’ is a quality of ‘mountain’.


64-level keywords are formed by combining 8-level keywords, thus making them more complex in meaning. On the 64 level you can find assembled words such as “doorway” (“door” and “way”), “crossroads” (“cross” and “road”) or the color “blue-green”, where the 8-level source is still clear. But also words such as “cooking”, “family”, “detective” etc. are 64-level. Here specific color names can be searched such as “lilac”, “aquamarine”, “khaki”, “fuchsia” etc. 64-level keywords are expected to be available from June 2019.

Find in-depth information on the different levels of genetic semantics.
Find all background information about the theory behind CITY OF 8 data in the About section.

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Content area type of pages

Semantic data page (dimensional level)

There are 6 data pages that contain semantic information on the dimensional level. Mainly there are two groups (the basic and the adjective) of three dimensions (depth, height and breadth).

Find in-depth information on the different dimensional categories of meaning.

The Basis Depth Dimension Parameters data page

These six pages show links to connected data, categorized in the same dimension and within that dimension set opposed to each other.

Semantic Space orientation information

The first field on top shows information on the specific dimension, in this example the data is about the basis depth dimension with ‘back’ and ‘front’ as the two opposing positions. The colors that are targeted are shown in the two semantic spaces. In this example the data is connected to the back colors blue, black, green and purple and the opposing front colors brown, red, white and yellow.

General meaning information

The second field gives paired general meaning keywords connected to the specific dimensions. The links guide you to the keyword pages.

Connected parameters of  emotion, personality, senses and expression.

Below the general meaning information, links are provided to corresponding parameters of resp. emotion, personality, color, color palette, shape, composition, texture and body bearing. This is synaesthetic information that helps the designer to control the values, meaning and emotions radiated by the design.

Parameters data page (dimensional level)

The emotion, personality, senses and expression parameters data page

The parameters data pages connect specific parameters of emotion, personality, color, color palette, shape, composition, texture and body with emotional keywords. In this example the shape’s straight or bent line parameter is connected to the emotional parameter of being un-/aroused. This means that straight lines will appear calmer than bent lines. The emotional keywords are for the designer to interpret and select. In some cases not all the offered emotions are applicable.

Illustrated parameter

The field on top shows the icon of the category and an illustrated example of the parameter starting from one extreme to the other in five steps. In this example the category is the shape and the parameter is straight / bent.

Semantic Space orientation information

The second field shows information on the specific dimension, in this example the data is about the basis breadth dimension with ‘left’ and ‘right’ as the two opposing positions. The colors that are targeted are shown in the two semantic spaces. In this example the data is connected to the left colors blue, green, brown and white and the opposing right colors black, red, purple and yellow.

Specific parameter description

The third field actually describes the specific parameter with a link to the keyword pages. In this example the parameter is about the amount of line curving with straight and bent as the two opposing characteristics.

Connected parameters of emotion

Finally the emotional information follows, always set in opposing pairs and linked to the keyword pages. The emotional keywords are for the designer to interpret and select. In some cases not all of the offered emotions are applicable. Some suit better than others in a specific case.

Semantic data page (8-level)

8-level semantic overview data page

For each of the eight corners in the semantic space, an overview of the main concepts are offered.  In this example the white meaning is explained. The illustration represents the most important idea within the eight groups of 8-level meaning. The image of the wind associates with the overall meaning of this white group. The text links are laid to keyword pages.

Dimensional moving axis gateway

Below the illustration and the linked text, icons of related concepts are offered. Here the user can travel through the semantic space and explore the eight main ideas. The antonym gives access to the complete opposite position in the semantic space. In this example with white as the starting position the antonym is the ‘black’ position. The other three icons give access to the ideas that differ only in one dimension. In this example, with white as the starting position, the user can observe shifts of meaning towards green in the depth, brown in the height and yellow in the breadth.

Primary data page (8-level)

Primary data page

As with the semantic data page, the primary data page gives 8-level information. In this example information is given about the primary color red. Besides color this page can show primary information about emotion, personality, color palette, shape, composition, texture and body bearing.

Dimensional parameters and semantic space switches

Below the illustration that represents the primary item, the specific dimensional parameters are displayed with a link to the dimensional page where the parameter is explained. In this example red is an outward, hard and active color. The semantic spaces on the left show the dimension of the parameters. The spaces on the right are the switches that can be used to travel through the semantic space. In this example, in the  depth dimension, the outward color parameter of red can switch to the inward parameter, moving to the black primary color in the semantic space.

Keyword data page (dimensional, 8-level)

Keyword data page

Every keyword in CITY OF 8 data has its page. Keywords can be dimensional level, 8-level or 64-level (coming soon).  The illustration shows a symbolized version of the meaning of the keyword in the color of the category where it semantically belongs to. In this example the keyword “clean” is classified under the white category, depicted by a white tiled field with a radiating star. Keywords are connected to each other through their dimensional relationships.

Keyword cluster

Under the title some keywords that belong to the same semantic group are brought together in a cluster of meaning. In this example “clean” is connected to “star” with the same code. The meaning is clustered, sometimes even synonym, but not always in the strict sense.

Antonym keywords

“Clean” is connected to “dirty” as an ANTONYM. The meaning is opposite. Some keywords may have more than one antonym. In that case there are multiple meanings of the same keyword.

Compare keywords

Under the COMPARE section keywords are suggested that may have a different meaning or show a different aspect of the main keyword. For example “clean” can be misunderstood by “pure” in the sense of something that is unadulterated.

Moving axis keywords

MOVING AXIS shows dimensional related keywords where only one dimension switches. The user can experience shifts of meaning while travelling through the semantic space. In this example the white keyword “clean” is connected in the depth with “pure (natural)” and with “water (running)” (GREEN), in the height with “wring” (BROWN) and in the breadth with “simple” (YELLOW).

Building block keywords

An 8-level keyword can function as a BUILDING BLOCK with another 8-level keyword resulting in a 64-level keyword. Under this section the 64-level keywords that contain the 8-level keyword are shown. For example the 8-level keywords ‘nature’ (GREEN) and ‘conserve’ (BLUE) form together a 64-level concept of ‘nature conservation’ (GREEN-on-BLUE).

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Widget area content

General widget area content

Every data page has a widget area on the right with additional buttons and information (widgets) according  to the specific data. Some widgets are always present: the search field, the semantic color space button, both on top of the area, as well as the comment option at the bottom of the area. Other buttons in this area can appear according to the semantic levels displayed in the content area. There are three kinds of data that have and influence on the content of the widget area: the dimensional level, the 8-level and the keyword data. In this example the general widget area is shown.

The keyword search field

The keywords search field gives access to all the keywords that are available in CITY OF 8 data. When the word a user is looking for is not in the list, adding a synonym can help. In the drop down list some keywords that are semantically related are shown.

Semantic color space

The semantic color space button functions as a semantic GPS. Anywhere in the CITY OF 8 data, the user has an overview of the position or dimension he is in. Shifts from one concept to another can be tracked. The button gives access to the 8-level meaning page.

Feedback option

CITY OF 8 data is an ever growing project. The user is invited to contribute with suggestions and comments. With the feedback we are able to enhance the content and the user friendliness.

Dimensional level

Dimensional level widget area

Specific for the data on the dimensional level is the Dimensional parameters widget.

Dimensional parameters widget

The six buttons give access to the respective dimensional parameters data pages. The white buttons represent the adjective depth (D), height (H) and breath (B) dimensions. The black buttons are the basis depth, height and breath.

Find in-depth information on the different levels of genetic semantics.


8-level data widget area

On the 8-level some specific widgets appear.

The semantic space with red as the current position

The semantic space indicates with an enlarged color square what the position is of the data the user is looking at. In this example the enlarged red square means that the actual data is located in the RED concept group.

Access to synaesthetic 8-level data

Below the semantic space a range of buttons makes synaesthetic comparisons possible between the different 8-level primary categories such as respectively from top to bottom and from left to right: primary color, palette, shape, composition, texture, body, meaning overview, meaning alphabetical list, emotion and personality.

Keyword data

8-level keyword widget area

Specific for the 8-level keyword pages some extra buttons may show.

Access to dimensional parameters data pages

This is the case when the keyword is dimensional and appears in a parameters data page. In this example the keyword describes an emotional and a personality characteristic.

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Example of a quote

Quotes always appear at the bottom of each data page and are alphabetically listed. They are placed on specific pages because in its text, keywords show some relationship with the actual content of the page. The author(s) reference can be found in the Bibliography where also an overview of all the quotes is available.

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Icons overview

dimensional meaningDimensional meaning
8-level meaning8-level meaning
64-level meaning64-level meaning
adjective depth dimensionAdjective depth dimension
adjective height dimensionAdjective height dimension
adjective breadth dimensionAdjective breadth dimension
basis depth dimensionBasis depth dimension
basis height dimensionBasis height dimension
basis breadth dimensionBasis breadth dimension
paletteColor palette
bodyBody posture and movement
Alphabetical lists

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