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Posts Tagged ‘typeface’

sans-forgetica-1120-newshub

Photo: Newshub
Sans Forgetica is a typeface meant to aid memory. It was invented by researchers at RMIT in Melbourne, Australia.

There’s a new memory-boosting font that you can download for free and use for short texts. The inventors say you wouldn’t want to use it for long texts like a novel because it would give you a headache. But I say, what good is a typeface if you can’t read novels with it?

Lisa Martin writes at the Guardian, “Australian researchers say they have developed a new tool that could help students cramming for exams – a font that helps the reader remember information.

“Melbourne-based RMIT University’s behavioural business lab and design school teamed up to create ‘Sans Forgetica,’ which they say uses psychological and design theories to aid memory retention.

“About 400 university students have been involved in a study that found a small increase in the amount participants remembered – 57% of text written in Sans Forgetica compared with 50% in a plain Arial.

“Typography lecturer Stephen Banham said the font had an unusual seven-degree back slant to the left and gaps in each letter.

“ ‘The mind will naturally seek to complete those shapes and so by doing that it slows the reading and triggers memory,’ Banham told the Guardian.

“Senior marketing lecturer Janneke Blijlevens said the concept of ‘desirable difficulty’ underpinned the font’s design. …

“The font was designed with year 12 students cramming for exams in mind but could also be used to help people studying foreign languages and elderly people grappling with memory loss.” More at the Guardian, here.

I can see that having to work harder to read something may cause memory to fire on more burners, but when I was a kid, a friend who purported to analyze handwriting told me that broken letters like this indicated a criminal mind!

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Photo: Pascal Duez
Coiffeur, Rouen, France

As a former editor whose favorite thing was to work with a good designer, I appreciate different kinds of typeface and what they convey. My husband and I have actually watched movies on typography. Helvetica was a fun one.

Now from twitter by way of @gwarlingo and @presentcorrect, a funny collection of wildly different typefaces that hair salons have chosen to express their essence.

Photo: Peter Bruhn
Salong Inga-Britt, Malmö, Sweden

The effort to collect these reminds me that somewhere I have saved my list of hair salon names that are a play on words. For example, I used to be a client of Mr. Robert (now retired) of the Hair After. Across from that shop today you can book a cut and blow-dry at the Mane Escape. Then there is A Cut Above and Shear Elegance.

The website Bellatory has a much more comprehensive list, in case you are going into the hair business and are stumped for a pun.

The signs here are from the website Fleurs Coiffures Liqueurs, which has also gathered numerous signs for liquor stores and florists. See all three themes here.

Update 9/14/17. Oh, boy. I found my old, old list of salon names, collected over several years: Undercuts, Hairs to You, Grand Strand, Prime Cut, Head Hunters, Shear Delight, Shear Magic, Hair and Now, Great Lengths, Hot Heads, Heads Up, and Head Start.

Photo: Florian Hardwig
Coiffure Strauss, St. Gallen, Switzerland

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Although my husband and I are not in any design field, we’ve enjoyed watching videos like Gary Hustwit’s Helvetica (the history of a typeface) and his Objectified (on industrial design). It’s  interesting to see how designers think about things like a new font or machine.

Recently at National Public Radio’s Weekend Edition, Ari Shapiro talked about a new typeface meant to represent Sweden.

He reports, “Nearly every country has a national flag, a national anthem, a national bird. Not many countries have a national typeface. Sweden recently commissioned a team of designers to come up with a font to represent the country on its websites, press releases, tourism brochures and more. …

“The typeface that [Soderhavet] designers created looks pretty much the way you would expect a Scandinavian typeface to look, too.

” ‘The Scandinavian tradition is pretty humble, easygoing and clean,’ says Stefan Hattenbach, one of the designers of the new Sweden Sans. Less is more, you could say.’

“He started by collecting images of old Swedish street signs and company logos. He pulled images of Swedish wallpaper, cars and furniture, and looked for what he calls the red thread running through it all.

” ‘There’s an expression in Sweden, too,’ Hattenbach says. ‘We say lagom, which is not too much and not too little.’ ”

The ancient Greeks had a similar expression: “Nothing in excess.” The only letter with a flourish is q. Says Hattenback, “Q is not used that much, so you can often be a little more playful with that.”

See what you think of Swedish Sans, below, and read the rest of the NPR story here.

Swedish Sans, by Soderhavet
A typeface to represent official Sweden

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