Typ09 Mexico City

Speaker details

Kevin Larson

Researcher Microsoft Advanced Reading Technologies | USA

Kevin Larson received his PhD in cognitive psychology in 2000 from the University of Texas at Austin. His passion is understanding the impact of typography on the reading experience and applying that understanding towards improving on-screen reading. People have literally been shocked during some of his recent presentations.

Presentation details

Don't we have enough fonts?

Session 68 | Room MIDE
Tuesday 27 October | 17:00 – 17:20

Duration: 20 minutes

People who aren’t typographers or graphic designers often wonder why there are so many typefaces. Few can distinguish differences between typefaces beyond a serif / sans-serif difference, particularly with text faces. If readers can’t detect these differences, then we are wasting a lot of time and effort. Many researchers now believe that that people have two evaluative systems – one that involves slow, effortful, deliberative thinking – and one that is automatic, fast, and pre-attentive. The second, called rapid cognition, allows people to make rapid judgments with relatively little information. For example, it only takes 50ms (1/20th of a second) to make a judgment about the aesthetics of a website that is similar to a judgment made after a long exposure. Our studies demonstrate that the personality of a typeface is identified with rapid cognition and that it impacts our recognition of the words written with the typeface.

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