Doctoraatsonderzoek Maarten Renckens: Design research inti rhythmical aspects of typefaces influencing reading comfort for visually impaired and visually unimpaired readers

Reading is done without consciously recognizing letters. Nevertheless letters constitute an

important aspect in determining legibility and reading comfort. The project will offer more insight

into how rhythm heterogeneity is related to optimal reading comfort. Rhythm heterogeneity can

be illustrated by a more irregular stripe pattern, formed by the vertical letter strokes. Some say

these stripe patterns are experienced as unpleasant as they may provoke visual illusions in the

guise of colour, shape and/or movement (Wilkins et al 1984, Wilkins 1995). Bessemans’ (2012)

PhD in the arts stated that these little variations can help visually impaired children when learning

to read. In a first design-phase of this research project design experiments will investigate the visual

influence of rhythm-disturbance parameters in the context of real typefaces. In the empirical phase of this research project the influence of rhythm-disturbance-parameters on reading comfort for normal and visually impaired readers will be studied. In the second design phase a large typeface family will be designed, combining the comfort results of the empirical phase of this study and the actual practice of designing typefaces. In addition to this artistic output the results will be translated to guidelines for innovative ways of incorporating rhythm changes within the design of typefaces for the visually impaired and normal readers.

Project informatie

prof. dr. Bert Willems & dr. Ann Bessemans
Lopend project
IWETO code:
  • H 315 Esthetica
Startdatum – einddatum:
PXL + Microsoft
5/DWO/2007/11/B011 - 5/DWO/2015/KU/Z007
0,67 VTE