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Legibility in Black and White

In this presentation, Octavio Pardo-Virto will review multiple traditional theories on letter perception by complimenting them with the most relevant findings in the field of psychophysics and our visual system. These findings are very well known to the legibility research community but less common in type design literature. Pardo-Virto will explain the blurry mechanisms of perception in visual channels; from a physiological aspect to how we identify and read letters. This will provide a better understanding of the value in different design strategies focused on enhancing the legibility of typefaces. This presentation will walk through a new framework to approach legibility research studies that’s not based on letterforms, but in our visual frequency perception, using variable fonts and bayesian experimental methods.


Octavio Pardo-Virto

Octavio Pardo-Virto is a graphic designer specializing in type design. In 2010, Pardo-Virto graduated with a master’s in type design from the University of Reading. Since then, Pardo-Virto has collaborated with design studios and foundries like Tobias Frere-Jones, Jean François Porchez, Type-Together, Leftloft, and Sharp Type. Pardo-Virto has been a consultant for Google Fonts. Pardo-Virto is currently pursuing a PhD in legibility for visually impaired people at the Royal Danish Academy of Copenhagen.