Different reading situation results in different demands to the typefaces used. Sometimes a typeface will need to be conservative, other times it will need to have a strong personality. Sometimes it will benefit from a large x-height and other times it will benefit from a low stroke contrast. In spite of what one might believe, there exist no universally legible typeface. Some typefaces can however swift between several different usages, and still remain legible, while other typefaces are optimised for one particular reading situation.
With and outset in knowledge from the worlds of psychology, neuroscience and design, this presentation will discuss different aspects of typeface legibility, typeface familiarity and typeface connotation.
Sofie Beier is a type designer and associate professor employed at the School of Design under The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where she is the head of the MA programme in Type & Wayfinding. She holds a PhD from the Royal College of Art in London and is the author of the book “Reading Letters: designing for legibility”. Her current research is focused on improving the reading experience by achieving a better understanding of how different typefaces and letter shapes can influence the way we read.