cross-cultural study on typefaces/fonts

Subject: cross-cultural study on typefaces/fonts
From: "Sean Hower" <hokumhome -at- freehomepage -dot- com>
To: <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 20 Mar 2007 07:51:56 -0700

Hi gang.

So, I was busy digesting some piece of information about the way a particular font made people feel, the emotions that it evoked. It got me wondering whether such reactions were learned or if the design was tapping into some subconscious perception. Which, then in turn, got me wondering whether a particular typeface/font would trigger the same reactions across cultures. I'm not talking about perceiving something to be easier to read. I'm talking about pure emotional reactions such as "When I see that font, I think elegance" or "When I see that font, I think of authority." This then got me thinking about what it is about a particular typeface that evokes these it the line height, the weight, the style of serif? It would be easy to say it's a combination of all three, but what is it, individually, that creates these reactions?

So, has anyone come across a book or study that examines this sort of thing. Something along the lines of psychology of colors but for typefaces/fonts? Has anyone run into any cross-cultural studies that examined the emotions that fonts evoked? A comparative study would be great.

This isn't for any particular job; it's just for my own interest.


Sean Hower - communications specialist

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