Onomatopoeia is a word that imitates the sound it represents
Think: whoosh, bang, pop, splosh
Over at The Visual Dictionary we were discussing what it means to have an image of a word which does similar – for instance, the word yellow, written in yellow, the word ‘water’ written in a puddle, and so on. Onomatopoeia doesn’t actually come from word roots surrounding the word ‘sound’ – depending on where you read, it is a greek word meaning ‘name making’, or built up from ‘ono-‘ singular, ‘-peoeia’ meaning formation, ‘-mat-‘ being the name of a generally intelligent or revered person.
Ideograph was posited as a suitable word, but maybe misses the mark a little.
We’ve stuck with visual onomatopoeia for now.