Thursday, May 03, 2012


Today's soundtrack:
That damned bird that sounds like an alarm clock.  At 4:30am.

I know I owe you all a lovely post about Madrid and Paris, but it's been pre-empted by an important public service announcement.

Miguel and Uta's FatFonts are featured in this week's New Scientist (Issue 2863).

When Miguel first told me about his FatFonts idea, I thought it was ludicrous.  I couldn't understand why numbers needed fonts.  They're numbers and purely practical.  How could numbers convey more information than the basic numerical kind?  But Miguel and Uta kept working on it, reading a mountain of typography literature and building four different numerical fonts.

I still didn't get it.  Aesthetically, sure.  But functional?

And then, about six months after the idea first sparked, Miguel showed me how the fonts worked as infographics.  Just check out this map of Sicily.  Numbers, normally plain and equally weighted, are reverted back to their symbolic meanings of weight and quantity.  There is a weight to numbers that regular fonts cannot convey.  I finally got it.

Now, with New Scientist article in hand, Miguel has physical proof that I was wrong.  There'll be no living with him now.

For more information about FatFonts (along with some pretty nifty visualizations), visit Miguel's page.

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