Monday, February 19, 2007

DO YOU HALO? And by the way, Happy Chinese New Year!

In the course of making the image above dedicated to my current game of the month which is the PC version of Halo, I managed to dig up some interesting stuff on the area of "Combat Typography". To illustrate how does "Combat Typography" plays a role in reading, I give you the example of the warning label attached to every cigarette pack.

Ever wondered why are the letters are in a particular font (Sans Serif), in capitals and are placed rather closely at each other for every cigarette pack regardless of brand? According to this website, Washington Apple Pi (here), this is done by cigarette companies to

"make the warning all but unreadable...thwarting any attempt to read by shape"

According to the site, literate readers tend to read by shape. Serif fonts make letters more distinctive and the proper use of capitalisation helps further in shape recognition. You'll find the method used on
cigarette pack warnings is also used on fine print and "terms and conditions". Now, you are not alone in thinking that these stuff are annoyingly difficult to read as this method applies for everyone!

Anyways, I would like to wish everyone a Happy Chinese New Year, Gong Xi, Gong Xi! (If you noticed, this post is abit of a mixed bag, just like most Chinese movies shown during this festive season).