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The Science of Typography - DIBI

Bram Stein
March 31, 2017

The Science of Typography - DIBI

This is going to be weird. You’ve probably heard about applications that automatically design websites. Are they a good thing? Can we learn something from these applications and create a tool that helps designers, instead of replacing them? This talk explores what happens when you apply algorithms and math to typography.

Bram Stein

March 31, 2017
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  1. @bram_stein
    the
    SCIENCE
    typography
    of 2em
    glyph box
    0.5em
    0.5em
    baseline
    kerning
    x-height

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  2. The web was (and to a large extend still is) not
    a good platform for high quality typography.

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  3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    JavaScript

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  4. Manual Automated Design

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  5. It looks like you’re trying to
    design something. Have
    you considered using
    Comic Sans?

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  6. a a
    a
    Acumin Pro Madre Script Futura PT

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  7. aexpd x-height

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  8. a a
    a
    In olden times when wishing
    still helped one, there lived a
    king whose daughters were
    all beautiful, but the
    youngest was so beautiful
    that the sun itself, which has
    seen so much, was
    astonished whenever it
    shone in her face.
    In olden times when wishing
    still helped one, there lived a
    king whose daughters were
    all beautiful, but the youngest
    was so beautiful that the sun
    itself, which has seen so
    much, was astonished
    whenever it shone in her
    face.
    In olden times when
    wishing still helped one,
    there lived a king whose
    daughters were all
    beautiful, but the youngest
    was so beautiful that the
    sun itself, which has seen
    so much, was astonished
    whenever it shone in her
    face.
    Geogrotesque Gill Sans Arial

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  9. a a
    a
    In olden times when wishing
    still helped one, there lived a
    king whose daughters were
    all beautiful, but the
    youngest was so beautiful
    that the sun itself, which has
    seen so much, was
    astonished whenever it
    shone in her face.
    In olden times when
    wishing still helped one,
    there lived a king whose
    daughters were all beautiful,
    but the youngest was so
    beautiful that the sun itself,
    which has seen so much,
    was astonished whenever it
    shone in her face.
    In olden times when wishing
    still helped one, there lived a
    king whose daughters were
    all beautiful, but the
    youngest was so beautiful
    that the sun itself, which has
    seen so much, was
    astonished whenever it
    shone in her face.
    +7% -8%
    Geogrotesque Gill Sans Arial

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  10. n
    A apple a day kee

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  11. n
    A apple a d y
    a

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  12. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a

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  13. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps

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  14. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps t e
    h

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  15. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps

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  16. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h

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  17. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor

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  18. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor away.

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  19. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor

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  20. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor
    away.

    View full-size slide

  21. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor
    away.

    View full-size slide

  22. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor
    away.

    View full-size slide

  23. n apple a
    d y
    a keeps
    t e
    h doctor
    away.
    A

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  24. n
    A apple a
    d y
    a eeps
    t e
    h octor
    away.
    k
    d

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  25. 1. Typeface
    2. Font size
    3. Line length (measure)
    4. Line height (leading)
    5. Typesetting

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  26. 1. Typeface
    2. Font size
    3. Line length (measure)
    4. Line height (leading)
    5. Typesetting

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  27. http://sizecalc.com/

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  28. 1. Typeface
    2. Font size
    3. Line length (measure)
    4. Line height (leading)
    5. Typesetting

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  29. Anything from 45 to 75 characters is widely
    regarded as a satisfactory length of line […]
    The 66-character line (counting both letters
    and spaces) is widely regarded as ideal.
    Robert Bringhurst

    View full-size slide

  30. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below
    it, very much like shadows — only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons,
    and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it, very much like shadows — only
    hard and with luminous edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country and
    countrymen.
    Imagine a vast
    sheet of paper on
    which straight
    Lines, Triangles,
    Squares,
    Pentagons,
    Hexagons, and
    other figures,
    instead of
    CPL: 100
    CPL: 66
    CPL: 20

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  31. Characters per line
    0 100
    66

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  32. 1. Typeface
    2. Font size
    3. Line length (measure)
    4. Line height (leading)
    5. Typesetting

    View full-size slide

  33. Longer measures need more lead than short
    ones. Dark faces need more lead than light
    ones. Large-bodied faces need more lead than
    light-bodied ones.
    Robert Bringhurst

    View full-size slide

  34. Longer measures need more lead than short
    ones. Dark faces need more lead than light
    ones. Large-bodied faces need more lead than
    light-bodied ones.
    Robert Bringhurst

    View full-size slide

  35. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other figures,
    instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely about,
    on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much like shadows — only hard and
    with luminous edges — and you will then have a pretty
    correct notion of my country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines, Triangles, Squares, Pentagons,
    Hexagons, and other figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move freely
    about, on or in the surface, but without the power of rising above or sinking below it,
    very much like shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and you will then
    have a pretty correct notion of my country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on
    which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of remaining
    fixed in their places, move freely
    about, on or in the surface, but
    without the power of rising above
    or sinking below it, very much like
    Line height: 1.4
    Line height: 1.3
    Line height: 1.2

    View full-size slide

  36. Longer measures need more lead than short
    ones. Dark faces need more lead than light
    ones. Large-bodied faces need more lead than
    light-bodied ones.
    Robert Bringhurst

    View full-size slide

  37. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on
    which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons,
    and other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below
    it, very much like shadows —
    only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have
    a pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.2 Line height: 1.4
    Line height: 1 Line height: 1.6
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on
    which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons,
    and other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below
    it, very much like shadows —
    only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have
    a pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on
    which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons,
    and other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below
    it, very much like shadows —
    only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have
    a pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on
    which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons,
    and other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below
    it, very much like shadows —
    only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have
    a pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on
    which straight Lines, Triangles,
    Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons,
    and other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the
    surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below
    it, very much like shadows —
    only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have
    a pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.8

    View full-size slide

  38. Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.2 Line height: 1.4
    Line height: 1 Line height: 1.6
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.8

    View full-size slide

  39. Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.2 Line height: 1.4
    Line height: 1 Line height: 1.6
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.8

    View full-size slide

  40. Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.2 Line height: 1.4
    Line height: 1 Line height: 1.6
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper
    on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares,
    Pentagons, Hexagons, and
    other figures, instead of
    remaining fixed in their
    places, move freely about, on
    or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or
    sinking below it, very much
    like shadows — only hard
    and with luminous edges —
    and you will then have a
    pretty correct notion of my
    country and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.8
    (1)
    (1.1)
    (1.2)
    (1.3)
    (1.4)

    View full-size slide

  41. Line height (normalised)
    0 4
    1.3

    View full-size slide

  42. Longer measures need more lead than short
    ones. Dark faces need more lead than light
    ones. Large-bodied faces need more lead than
    light-bodied ones.
    Robert Bringhurst

    View full-size slide

  43. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other
    figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or sinking below it, very
    much like shadows — only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion
    of my country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other
    figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move
    freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below it, very much like
    shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and
    you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country
    and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other
    figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move
    freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below it, very much like
    shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and
    you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country
    and countrymen.
    Line height: 1 Line height: 1 Line height: 1

    View full-size slide

  44. Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other
    figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places,
    move freely about, on or in the surface, but without
    the power of rising above or sinking below it, very
    much like shadows — only hard and with luminous
    edges — and you will then have a pretty correct notion
    of my country and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other
    figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move
    freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below it, very much like
    shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and
    you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country
    and countrymen.
    Imagine a vast sheet of paper on which straight Lines,
    Triangles, Squares, Pentagons, Hexagons, and other
    figures, instead of remaining fixed in their places, move
    freely about, on or in the surface, but without the power
    of rising above or sinking below it, very much like
    shadows — only hard and with luminous edges — and
    you will then have a pretty correct notion of my country
    and countrymen.
    Line height: 1.2 Line height: 1.3 Line height: 1.4

    View full-size slide

  45. 1. Typeface
    2. Font size
    3. Line length (measure)
    4. Line height (leading)
    5. Typesetting

    View full-size slide

  46. https://bramstein.com/typography-inspector

    View full-size slide

  47. the
    SCIENCE
    typography
    of 2em
    glyph box
    0.5em
    0.5em
    baseline
    kerning
    x-height
    @bram_stein
    https://www.bramstein.com/
    Set in Acumin by Robert Slimbach
    “Metal Movable Type” by Willi Heidelbach
    Thank you.

    View full-size slide