Proposal 3.0

February 24, 2012

Zachary Ruden


Proposal 3.0

Communicating Faces

Typeface and the Connotative Interpretation of Textual Information


As a ubiquitous tool in communication, typography is commonly

used to support, augment, or alter the content of the message it

dresses¹ ². There is a lack of research on the effects of

typographic factors on the interpretation of text that yields

meaningful results to the applied field. I am interested in

substantiating a practical reasoning to guide, or at least verify

typographic decisions, and in particular typeface decisions. I will

achieve this by investigating the effect that prefabricated character

sets (or fonts) have on the interpretation of text. Through the use of

homographs³ a comparative study can determine to what extent

typefaces effect homographic interpretation specifically, and

thereby produce a measurable outcome. Analysis of the survey

information will go to evaluate which (styles of) typefaces are

effective for intended interpretation of various kinds of application.

With this information, I will compose a publication spread layout,

concentrating on employing all the design elements to best

communicate the findings to a larger audience effectively and

stimulating visually. A further application of the results will

minimally be proposed if not developed into a final and usable



1. Binns, Betty. Better Type, 1989, p. 8

2. Anderson, Donald. The Art of Written Forms, 1969, p. 254

3. Mariam-Webster Dictionary,

Homograph: One or more words spelled alike but different in

meaning or derivation or pronunciation.

One Response to “Proposal 3.0”

  1. Niko Spelbrink Says:

    Hi Zachary,
    My friend Stephan Saaltink mailed me on your proposal 03 (of Art 4610 Senior Projects at Western Michigan University).
    I’m a lecturer of typography at RMIT and Monash Universities in Melbourne, Australia, and interested in the detail of your proposal. Please send me a link or further pdf information. Thanks in advance. Regards,
    Niko Spelbrink

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