By Prof Shaw on March 7, 2019
HOW WE READ / A List Apart
Errol Morris How Typography Shapes Our Perception of Truth
Pentagram Papers Hear All Ye People
Posted in In Class Projects | 18 Responses
I realized how my eyes were moving as “saccades” even before I read what the word meant. I just didn’t know there was a word for it. Now I know. After I read the meaning of “fixation”, I started to notice it for myself as I continued to read. I learned that letters in all caps are harder to read because of their similarity in shape to each other whereas, letters typed normally are more legible because the irregular shapes help us better identify the word. The New York Times quiz by author Errol Morris seems brilliant, but from the perspective of someone who hasn’t read the questions before, a valid question would be, “what if most of the people that picked the Baskerville typeface just agreed more with the statement rather than the influence of the font?” Could it be that all the most agreeable statements were typed in the Baskerville font? I took the quiz online without any variety in the fonts and my answer was the one least picked out of the two (which was the pessimist approach). Another valid question would be, “what if most people just want to think of themselves as optimistic?” After all, optimism usually attracts and I would think most people have the mindset of wanting to be liked, therefore tries to think of themselves in the best way possible – especially in this age of widespread narcissism.
It was interesting to read how Errol Morris used a quiz to test typography’s influence on people’s view of the truth. I didn’t realize before on how much a certain style of type could make a text seem truthful or too playful to be serious. Similar to Morris’ thought, it’s kind of unbelievable to think we would be swayed to different opinions by the way text looks. Although I think it’s a bit odd, I can understand it a little. For example, Baskerville is a serif typeface that has a certain personality. Serif typefaces may be viewed as older, and so, more truthful and no-nonsense–well, at least that’s how I view serif typefaces. While I can understand why a serif typeface like Baskerville was favored, I wonder if people agreed with the statement based on their outlook on life regardless of the typeface used, just like Krystal’s statement above. I also wonder if this refers to the readability of the situation. In the first article, the author mentioned that an audience can perceive a text differently depending on the surrounding. Reading the passage in the quiz could have been affected by the audience’s environment. The article also mentioned that readability is affected by a saccade (hops across a line of text) which in turn can be affected by how familiar a reader is with the text. Perhaps the typeface was familiar to some of the readers who had ease while reading the passage and then chose an optimistic response.
The readability of the typeface is very important because it’s the appearance of the fonts and the more easier (and attractive font) the reader can read mean the more attraction you will get from the reader. It’s very interesting that Morris used the New York Times newspaper to communicate with the reader or the audience about typography. He’s doing the quiz to see which typeface that majority people like, and it does related to the readability of the typeface. We see typography everyday, however I never think deeply that typography would affect how people read. All I think is that “oh that’s font looks nice” or “it fits well together”. When I finished reading these article, I now look back and realize that the books that I read and I’m interested to read, the typeface is mostly serif font. Throughout the reading, I also think if I were one of the person who took the quiz, I’ll also chose “Baskerville”. I feel that this font is neat, clean, and smooth to read. After reading these articles, it makes me think as to why they created their fonts in this way and these question is for all the typeface. I want to know the purpose of the typeface and in which way they were intended to use it.
Errol Morrris made a quiz which 45,000 people answered to and it is proven that the text does determine the truth behind the question, it effects the choice the reader makes based on the text. Based on the texts appearances is how people easily get hooked to read more. After reading these article’s I have to say that Baskerville is one of my favorite fonts because it is neat and so easy to read. Now I look more closely to the type of fonts that are out there trying to figure out if I actually know what font they are using.
The articles are very interested and connected.I read them in order;it is also a progressive layers of the process. First, I understand how our eyes move when we are reading;and why capital letters are harder to read because all-caps text forms blocky shapes with little distinction, while mixed-case text forms irregular shapes that help us better identify each word. Form second article, I learnt an amazing thing that the fonts will affect the authenticity of the words somehow.For myself, I do like Baskerville, I chose it for my book project. Actually, I am wandering how many classmates choose Baskerville as well.
I learnt that a lot of reading text is dependent on context. Readability is very important, but the more we as readers can recognize the letters, the easier it is for us to read words quickly. Capitals being similar to each other don’t give us that sense of uniqueness of letters that let us identify themselves easily which is why they are harder for us to read quickly. Errol Morris believed that typefaces have a profound impact on how one reads and interprets the information written. Experimenting, he found that Baskerville seemed to be the most ‘trustworthy’ of typefaces. There seems to be a significant connection between how a typeface looks, and how people perceive what is written, and that is something that might also play into how easily identifiable the letters are in that typeface.
After reading all three articles I got a better understanding at how important and influential typography is and how unnoticed it goes. I really loved the article with Errol Morris where he goes into depth with his experiment on how typography can create people to believe statements easier just because of a certain font used vs. another font. I find this to be very relatable as when I am shopping I often based my purchases on the packaging or label of the item being bought because it looks more trustworthy or promising which is exactly what this experiment proved to be true with 40,000 other people. I think it is amazing how font can depict such emotion even though we do not consciously think of it, it is seemingly all around us and influencing things such as our purchases and decisions.
I learned that typography is an art form that goes unnoticed, when in reality it is actually very impactful. Typography can affect how you read and and process information. Text that is in all caps is difficult to read because the capital letters creates blocky shapes, which makes it harder for the eye to identify letters. On the other hand, mixed cased text creates irregular shapes, which makes the letters more distinct and easier to read. Typography can also affect your emotions and how you react to the information that you read. Errol Morris conducted an experiment to record how people respond to different typefaces. Morris concluded that Baskerville is the most “trustworthy” typeface. Passages written in Baskerville came across as more believable to readers as opposed to passages written in other typefaces such as Comic Sans or Helvetica. Its amazing how different typefaces could potentially evoke different emotions. This is significant information for a designer to take into consideration while selecting a typeface for a project.
After reading these three articles, I think I learned more about how important typography is. Baskerville’s story shows people should pay closer attention to typefaces. it is important that style of font could be playful and fit to the article’s style. And the article also describe the different fonts can get reader’s attraction easier. I think that could be shown in magazine’s font, like their title will intend to get reader’s attention. And also in the Errol Morris’ statement he described his experiment about how to design typography that people will believe the article easier. Like in the fashion magazine will usually use the font that is simple, clean and modern style. And in the newspaper, the reader will believed the style of the font more formal like Baskerville. After reading these articles I will tried to think about why the designer choose this font for their work, and I want to learn more about their thought.
It’s very interesting to learn that some typefaces more believable than others. Baskerville is one of them. This 250-year-old serif originally designed by John Baskerville. It reveals that different fonts have different effects on people. Now I know that if I want to convince others, I should use Baskerville. The use of different fonts for different purposes is an area worth learning. I hope to read more articles like this to learn more about fonts impact on people and how to use fonts.
These articles are always insightful, I learned new words associated with typography such as the meaning of fixation in terms of type and saccades. What I thought was interesting was in one of the articles, it mentioned how adaptable we can be when it comes to writing. Whether is be type in all caps, lowercase, and even a person’s handwriting. We do tend to adapt really quickly to read just about anything, we’ll most of us do. Another cool thing I took away form How We Read was, to be successful with your typography design, it is hard to tell how well it will perform. So to beat around the bush, the designer would have to strategically make their design capable of passing all criteria and situations of failing.
I have learned how important typography is on our life. Thanks to this articles i understand how typefaces can influence someone else point of view and interpretation. Is very important for us designers to keep in mind that text has many options and it can contribute or not to our purpose. It depends on our choices and what we want to accomplish, text should be treated in Two forms, as a communicator or as an artists or appealing visual object. But most important text should always have an identity that contributes to the visual understanding of viewer.
I really liked the article “How We Read” by Jason Santa Maria because it took me back years ago to when I was browsing a bookstore with a friend and her mother brought over a book that she felt would interest her daughter. My friend opened the book, took one look at the typography contained inside the book and dismissed it saying that she would never read it because of how dense the text was. It was probably one of those cheap publications that save money by packing the text in with tight tracking and little leading. At the time I gave little thought to typography thinking that if the book was worth reading, I would read it no matter what design choices were made. However, after reading Maria’s article I realize that typography is basically a science that affects how everyone reads no matter what importance they attribute to design. I think an excellent example is how difficult it is to read text in all caps because your brain is basically looking for a visual cue of where it can take a mental rest (i.e. fixation) to process all the information it quickly collected in a visual saccade. As a designer I think it’s so important to know how to toggle that balance of being an artist and scientist (i.e. form and function) in order to produce work that gives the best results.
This article showed me the influence a typeface can have on a person, this teaches me that when I enter the professional world, I should take into consideration the message I want to convey, that way I will be able to select the correct typeface that can help me do that.
I found the first article specifically more enticing just how the first sentence started off. It was interesting to learn about typographic rhythm. I also learned that depending on how the text is structured and the level of legibility can determined if the reader can clearly read the text. It’s extremely crucial and another factor we must keep in mind as a designer. We must always think about legibility before we implement text into our designs.
These articles addressed a topic that I vaguely knew about already. The importance of the typeface and the ease with which things can be read, which in turn makes them desirable. I didn’t know about the way we read, the saccades and fixations. It’s something you wouldn’t think about unless you’re a designer or you encounter bad type. The same with the idea that people read shapes of text, simply being aware of these things will ensure that I execute them in a way that allows the reader to want to read. And having the knowledge that some typefaces carry more credibility, as Errol Morris found, will allow me to create text that is inviting to read and believable.
One thing I did capture from reading the article was learning about typographic rhythm. It taught me that based on how the text is formed and structured will determine if the reader can clearly read the text. It is important as a designer that the viewers should be able to understand our work. Design should be placed second on our minds while placing legibility and understand through the viewers point of view in our concepts
This article explains the science on why some readings catch our attention, while others puts us to sleep. It says that the readability of a text has to do with it’s legibility. Word placement is an important part of catching a reader’s thoughts. Depending on the organization of the text and the content of the reading, it would give the viewer a soothing and better understanding on what they are reading.
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