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THE AESTHETICS OF READING


The way we communicate has changed dramatically over the last 5-10 years. Who really writes anymore? Do you? 

The act of handwriting is becoming a dying art. We wonder if it will continue to be taught in school or will the current generation be one of the last to learn it as a subject. Will it be eventually phased out much like how our parents were taught Latin?

Whilst we have switch our pens and pencils for keyboards, our writing for typing;  the way we read these words has stayed the same for decades - with our eyes.

Dr Kevin Larson is a psychologist that has spent much of his career researching typefaces. Along with Dr Rosalind W.Picard,  Larson recently conducted a landmark study on how font and layout affects our emotions, specifically examining the benefits of good typography. The results are interesting and confirm what every graphic designer has always known - Good typography makes people happy.

"It has been previously demonstrated that when people are in a positive mood that they will perform better on cognitive tasks that involve creativity (Isen, 1987). It is fairly easy to manipulate mood, the presentation of a small gift or watching five minutes of a humorous video is enough to generate measurable differences on certain cognitive tasks. When participants were asked to read text with either good or bad typography in two different studies, the participants who received the good typography afterwards performed better on Isen’s cognitive tasks as well as on subjective duration assessment."

Larson and Picard found that people felt bad while reading poorly designed layout. Sometimes, this feeling would be expressed physically with a frown or sign. This bad feeling then went on to negatively affect  their creative thinking and problem solving.

Now you know why comic sans  puts you in a bad mood. Read more about it here.



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