Typography Can Save Lives

According to Lena Groeger of ProPublica, “type choices are a big deal — and can, in fact, have life or death consequences.”

See the article from ProPublica entitled “How Typography Can Save Lives.” It’s full of interesting tidbits, e.g. why big blocks set in ALL CAPS are still so common.

Apparently, the U.S. government defines “conspicuous” as “a heading in capitals equal to or greater in size than the surrounding text.” Why? Because back in the day of typewriters, capital letters were the only emphasis option available.

Graphic illustration of the changes made to a humanist typeface by MIT and Monotype.

MIT collaborated with Monotype to design a typeface that cuts down on driver distraction. A square-shaped typeface (Eurostile) on top compared to the humanist typeface (Frutiger) on the bottom. Source: Monotype Imaging.

Personally, I’m delighted to know that NOAA, the National Weather Servce whose forecasts I consult every day, has made their hazardous weather alerts legible. Now I’ll be able to find Rockingham County in a list of affected counties ten times faster.


If You Love That Font So Much, Why Don’t You Date It?

dating“If I were going to date a typeface, it would probably be something like Franklin Gothic bold condensed. The font is undeniably masculine—sans-serif, solid, reliable. If it were a human, it’d be the type of guy who would fix my broken sink and play football in the backyard on Thanksgiving. I’m not alone here. Lots of women find Franklin Gothic to be a total dreamboat.”

Besides gauging dateability, graphic designer Sarah Hyndman is researching how typography impacts our perceptions in other ways:

  • Can a font make a product appear more expensive?
  • Do fonts have recognisable personalities?
  • Can a typeface alter the taste of what you eat?
  • Can a font alter the mood of what you read?
  • When is a Serif a better choice than a Sans Serif typeface and why?

Source: If You Love That Font So Much, Why Don’t You Date It?

Hat tip: our Northern Font Observatory, headed up by MrMild.


Book designer meets programmer — Hebrew book composition

Our bud Larry Yudelson sent us a link to this neat article by Raphael Freeman, showing how he uses a variety of custom scripts to compose complex book pages in Hebrew.

I’ve sent a note to Raphael asking what page layout program he’s using. I’ll reveal all when he gets back to me.

via Book designer meets programmer | Raphael Freeman | Ops & Blogs | The Times of Israel.