The Math of Text Readability

The Math of Text Readability: “An anonymous reader writes ‘Wired magazine has an article that explains The Law of Optical Volumes, a formula for spacing the letters on a printed page that results in maximum readability. Wired’s new logo (did anyone notice?) obeys the law. Unfortunately, Web fonts don’t allow custom kerning pairs, so you can’t work the same magic online as in print. Could this be why some people still prefer newspapers and magazines to the Web?

From Underwire‘s article “Law of Optical Volumes: The Math Behind Wired’s New Logo“:

The same goes for Wired’s new logo. It alternates between letters without and with serifs, yet the area between each pair of letters is about the same, thanks to the serifs on the I and E and lack thereof on the W, R and D. This equivalence makes the logo easier to see and read across a crowded supermarket aisle. The alternating fonts also make the letters seem to blink on and off as you read them from left to right, in emulation of digital ones and zeroes.

The story also refers to typography guru Jonathan Hoefler. You can see Hoefler’s work at typography.com.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

(Via Slashdot.)

Author: Martien van Steenbergen

Martien is a Visioneer and touched by software.
people | software | happiness

Leave a Reply