Proposal 5.0

April 3, 2012

Our writing systems have evolved through many cultures and technologies over the course of thousands of years. This lends specific historical/cultural associations to many letterforms and type styles. Of course, our own culture adds new dimension to these associations. The application of content, too, compounds new sets of associations to typefaces. The combination of these elements can lead to surprising effects on meaning.

Through the use of homographs, a comparative study can determine to what extent typefaces effect homographic interpretation and produce a measurable outcome that can be analyzed to evaluate which (styles of) typefaces are effective for conveying intended connotations of various applications. The methodology of this study, titled Typeface and the Connotative Interpretation of Textual Information, implements web based surveys to gather information. Participants will look at a homograph and decide which definition of the word came to mind first and then proceed to the next page where they can select that definition. Every participant will be given the same survey but in a different typeface (randomly selected from five typefaces). The differences in results from the surveys will reveal the impact of the typeface on the participants’ interpretation. The typeface is the only variable to change between surveys.

The results of this study may allow educated users of type to check if their connotation relates to that of their intended audience and also help the layperson improve the clarity of his/her message by offering a guide to effective typeface selection.

From the results of the surveys, I will write about the study. The writing will explain the purpose, means, implications and etc. of the study and will be designed to look attractive whilst maintaining a optimal functionality in disseminating scientific information.

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