Digital Font Authoring and Legibility Testing
January 22, 2020
Students in Year 11 Computer Graphics have been studying fonts and typefaces. They designed their own fonts to display numbers by creating glyphs for the digits 0-9 using FontStruct, an online font authoring application. They then downloaded and installed their fonts to their iMac accounts, and used a template to prepare a legibility testing sheet. Legibility is a measure of how easy it is to discern the characters, or glyphs, in a typeface. High legibility is desired for fonts used in road signs.
The sheets were mounted on the wall and students stood a fixed distance from the testing sheets, reading rows of random digits out loud to an assistant. As the rows got smaller, the size at which the student could not longer accurately read the digits was noted, and the students recorded their results on an online spreadsheet.
The results provided evidence as to which students’ designs were the most and least legible, and what kinds of font designs would be the most suitable for use in road signs. Some of the testing sheets are shown below, rendered in their testing sheets. As you can see, the designs vary greatly in their style and legibility.
This exercise, designed by computing teacher Mr. Andrei Androsoff, combines creative and analytical activities and gives students experience in design, technology and analysis. It was also a lot of fun!