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Johannes Neumeier

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Johannes Neumeier
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  • Re: Brain Sees Words As Pictures

    Personally I was amazed to find that for example neural network theory has first been applied to the reading process some 35 years ago, and yet many practitioners of type design are still wondering if it is feature recognition, letter recognition, word recognition, etc... much more intuitive is the scientifically confirmed finding that they are all interrelated, and any good model factors in this interdependency; that Cmarbidge folklore just does not to it justice - it's a reverse-engineered complexity of reading - not bad per se, but what does it really prove, or help, for that matter...

    For example this diagram from Rumelhart & McClelland, 1982.

    The real question is what it means that the brain might to some degree have a tendency to perceive words based on the images they form. Some type aims to disrupt, other to drown you in the comfy daze of centuries of convention and establishment. Both is fine, though, is it not?
  • Re: Brain Sees Words As Pictures

    The actual article link.
    These findings have interesting implications for reading remediation in individuals with phonologic processing impairments because they suggest the possibility that these individuals might benefit from visual word learning strategies to circumvent the phonologic difficulties and directly train holistic visual word representations in the VWFA[visual word form area].

    There are bouma disbelievers? :sweat_smile:

    I think, on the contrary, some people actually overhype word shape without acknowledging the critique and expansions to those original proposed ideas (which by now date nearly 50 years back).

  • Re: Astar - An elegant, readable sans-serif (looking for critiques)

    The idea is to design an high-readable, functional and extremely elegant type family.
    When that is your idea, focus on that first, so naturally in a regular weight. The way the bold appears now, and not just because it is bold, it gives more of a display impression with quite expressive features. Also consider the spacing of your letters and words as having impact on how the type is suited to be used.

    The design is not consistent yet, and I think clearly some groups of letters share the same logic, but not all groups fit together. Especially how round and straight letters correlate shows this. You can test words that have a lot of letters of the same group, and then compare the feeling you get between different words with different groups' letters. For example in the caps I suspect each of the words FILE and DOGS and MANY will currently have a very distinctly different feel that does not correspond entirely with the other words; the same applies to the lowercase, especially with the letters with shoulders and round letters. And also to some extent the combination of lowercase and uppercase is missing unity, for example the vertical strokes' top endings in the lowercase are entirely different from anything in the caps. Most of the diagonal letters have visual balance problems and tend to tilt over to the side of the heavier stroke, try check them out upside-down or in between a pair of H's.

    Keep at it, the work beings once you have some shapes to pick from and refine ;)
  • Re: Scripts needed?

    How about a tool, command line or standalone app, that let's you easily compile subset webfonts for different language or charset support, together with some metadata adjustments etc. This could for example be used in the backend of indie foundries letting customers download file size conscious webfonts tailored to the customers' need, or provide on-the-fly webfonts with small footprint based on a language selection.
  • Re: A better "version" of an existing typeface

    How about simply contacting the designer?

    (Maybe they are okay with it, maybe they want to improve it themselves, maybe they don't care, maybe they want to collaborate, maybe they tell you this is what their livelihood depends on, or not)