A new consortium led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Age Lab hands-on lab is dedicated to investigating how typography readability and other design issues affect the devices around us. His name is Clear Information Presentation Consortium something like Consortium for Information Presentation Clara and counts as main driver with Mono Type the veteran company of typefaces and related technologies. Google has also announced its incorporation.

devices of the future

New fonts for devices of the future Connecting to a WiFi is as desperate as it sounds but it could be fixed. The objective of the consortium, whose members have been working in this field for years is to offer experimental and objective results that go beyond the traditional knowledge of typographers with real tests and in simulators on readability and adaptation of texts to different conditions ambient light reflections, large or small sizes. With more and more texts in devices as small as a clock or as large as the images of a virtual reality glasses or the instrument panel of a car this initiative takes great interest.

Lyrics with a lot of history

The world of typography and readability has always had a close relationship with our daily activities, although until the end of the twentieth century did not experience a genuine “digital revolution” with the advent of desktop publishing and technologies such as the PostScript language. The famous Times were created in 1931 to renew the classics of the time the same happened with the Helvetica in 1957 and both have arrived with great dignity until our days.

From roads to mobile phones

On roads and highways, for example, readability is key drivers must be able to recognize and read important signals in a few fractions of a second. So readability is first and foremost. The typographies used in this sign have uniform and clean features, which can also be read negatively and in adverse weather conditions for example partially covered by snow. Not all fonts are the same: small details make them more suitable than others for tasks such as driving or looking at a notification on a watch.

Not all fonts are the same: small details make them more suitable than others for tasks such as driving or looking at a notification on a watch. To give some examples, in Germany they have been using the typography DIN 1451 since 1936. In the United Kingdom, they use the Transport that dates from 1957.

Simulators and detailed studies

Some of the research projects that participants in the consortium have already undertaken in the past include, for example, investigating the use of typefaces while driving. The way to do it is a simulator, nicknamed affectionately Strolling Miss Daisy in which texts and messages were displayed in various types to check which of them obtained better reaction time. In another test texts were shown to the participants making them parade quickly on a screen calculating the time necessary for them to read correctly. This included negative text proofs white text on a black background.

Likewise, they studied the effects of font sizes and their impact on readability on small devices. In this case, what was observed was that certain typographies presented problems of scale when they were drawn to very small sizes affecting very negatively its readability. For some time, manufacturers like Google or Apple use fonts that especially care for this aspect in mobile devices being Google’s Roboto typography for Android or Apple’s San Francisco for iOS macOS the best practical examples.

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A new consortium led by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Age Lab hands-on lab is dedicated to investigating how typography readability and other design issues affect the devices around us. His name is Clear Information Presentation Consortium something like Consortium for Information Presentation Clara and counts as main driver...