NYU Researchers Discover Defining Factor for Legibility
Character size, measure, typeface … these are all generally accepted as being factors that influence legibility. Yet the study The uncrowded window of object recognition by New York University neuro-scientists Denis G. Pelli & Katharine A. Tillman published in scientific journal Nature Neuroscience advances the thesis that character spacing is the defining factor for legibility. For this at least a "critical distance" must be exceeded, to allow the brain to read the words and text without effort. When reading a book from a longer distance the letters start to amalgamate and blur. Even though this is rarely the case in daily practice, the research confirms that deciphering text becomes harder when the spacing is maladjusted. By the way the gaps between items are also crucial when viewing everyday objects – if objects are far removed their distance to each other also has to be larger.
The abstract reads:
It is now emerging that vision is usually limited by object spacing rather than size. The visual system recognizes an object by detecting and then combining its features. 'Crowding' occurs when objects are too close together and features from several objects are combined into a jumbled percept. Here, we review the explosion of studies on crowding – in grating discrimination, letter and face recognition, visual search, selective attention, and reading – and find a universal principle, the Bouma law. The critical spacing required to prevent crowding is equal for all objects, although the effect is weaker between dissimilar objects. Furthermore, critical spacing at the cortex is independent of object position, and critical spacing at the visual field is proportional to object distance from fixation. The region where object spacing exceeds critical spacing is the 'uncrowded window'. Observers cannot recognize objects outside of this window and its size limits the speed of reading and search.
Personally I'm still convinced that legibility depends heavily on a combination of well-known typographic parameters, such as typeface, type size, colour, line length, line spacing, medium and also character spacing. Who needs neuro-scientists when one can rely on Bringhurst?
Header image:Willow Lineup 2 © Lars Sundström
Typeface:FF Enzo by Tobias Kvant
- ·Bevésett nevek (Carved Names), vol. 2
- ·Why Apple Abandoned the World's Most Beloved Typeface?
- ·Sinnesreize / Embracing Sensation by Silvia Gertsch and Xerxes Ach
- ·XUID Arrays: One Less Thing To Worry About
- ·Top 100 Fonts.com Web Fonts for May 2016
- ·47 free tattoo fonts for your body art
- ·Königsblut identity
- ·Surabaya Beat by Beat Presser, Afterhours Books
- ·MC5 – Back in the USA album cover
- ·The Form Book by Borries Schwesinger
游客's review on Article Billboard.com这个Billboard.com网站的字体是啥字体
lwhzyn's review on Article HZ-GB-2312系统好像缺少字库，看看能不能下载
游客's review on Article 2017年设计师绝对不能错过的手写字体搭配的挺好看，这些字体是免费商用的么
¤月映丹心∴'s review on Article 毛笔字体进化论怎么下载法？
糖果's review on Article 25个能让设计师用一辈子的字体免费用吗
游客's review on Article 三星发布自主字体SamsungOne：全平台通用哪里可以下载三星字体