It's decidedly not a new idea to symbolize the meaning of a word using type. In fact, I did this project as part of a visual design course. But, I thought the approach I took was a little more unique than the project concept.
Words are really visual... but equally, or maybe more, auditory. And creating expressive typography means looking at what things mean from a few angles. So, I started by thinking about the audio waveforms of each word. I picked 4 words. I recorded myself speaking them, then looked at the resulting waveforms.
Besides the waveform, I also thought about the shape the tongue and mouth make speaking a word. To me, that's more accurately the word's "shape" than anything you'd see typing it out.
We're usually just hearing them, or reading them, or speaking them. But they're kind of all those things at once (woah). So, figuring out ways to represent them that get at the multitudes they contain is a worthwhile exercise.