Typography in Knowledge Transfer

“Typography in Knowledge Transfer” is a compendium published by Triest Verlag in 2019 to which I contributed an article.

“Typography in Knowledge Transfer” is a compendium published by Triest Verlag in 2019 to which I contributed an article.

(original titel in German: “Typografie in der Wissensvermittlung”)

It’s about the impact of typography when imparting knowledge—it cannot be overestimated. The range of influential factors is wide. 25 authors use cross-disciplinary approaches and readability research in their writings (all articles in German).

Article: “Design of Legible Typefaces — How To Utilize Research”

(original titel in German: “Gestaltung von leserlichen Schriften – Was nutzt uns die Forschung?”)

In my article I show the difficulties of legibility research which is mainly run by scientists without any background in design. Unfortunately this leads to barely useful results for designers. If you want to investigate the impact of serifs on the legibility of typefaces, it’s not done by comparing Times New Roman (serif) with Arial (sans serif). Their designs differ in far more parameters than just the serifs. Asking for the influence of a single design element it is necessary to have a basic design from which variations are created—differing in only one single aspect.

Another common issue is the typeface selection by non-designers. E.g. the monospaced font “Courier” has been a very frequent research object in order to investigate the visibility of certain characters. The problem from a designer’s perspective: the characters have no common proportions. In these fonts all characters have to fit in the same space. This causes in usually narrow characters like i, j, l, t designed wider and wide characters like m or w got squeezed. Results of those investigations can’t serve for a general statement about the visibility of certain characters.

Fortunately there is a shift towards valuable legibility and readability research since a decade. Designers and researchers started conversation and developed comprehension for each’s perspective on the topic. Approximately since the 2010s more and more valuable research results could be generated.

This compendium is the outcome of the international working group Typografie in der Wissensvermittlung.

Edited by Ulrike Borinski & Rudolf Paulus Gorbach
Book design: Rudolf Paulus Gorbach
312 page
14,7 × 23,5 cm
approx 120 illustrations
Euro (D) 39.– / Euro (A) 40.– / CHF 39.–
ISBN 978-3-03863-039-5

More at Triest Verlag.