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Exclusive Interview: Monotype’s Take On Illegible Text In The Future Of Branding
By Mikelle Leow, 08 Nov 2017
Image by Samuel Zeller via StockSnap.io (CC0)
Creatives are well aware of the implications bad typography can make. Unfortunate kerning, for example, could draw attention to your brand—though not in a desirable way.
Leading type company Monotype recognizes that the curse of illegibility could pose as an obstacle in a potentially lucrative field for brands: AR and VR. Technology is expected to help solve problems, and hard-to-read text defeats the whole purpose of simplifying people’s lives.
In an interview with DesignTAXI, Brett Zucker, Chief Marketing Officer at Monotype, sheds some light on the ways that illegible typography could hinder highly profitable AR/VR experiences from becoming mainstream.
For a bit of context, ‘AR’ and ‘VR’ are not interchangeable terms. AR is used in apps for mobiles and tablets, and works with your device’s camera to display a view of your surroundings with added information. VR creates a simulated environment, often one that is entirely different from yours.
Read some snippets from the interview below.
On why AR might be the up-and-coming medium for brands
Image by Kristian Olsen via Unsplash (CC0)
“While VR provides a completely immersive experience, AR has much more appeal for some brands due to the fact that content is integrated into real-world environments and leaves you the freedom to truly explore….”
“For example, a consumer can use a mobile AR app to see how a particular shade of mascara would look on their face, without having to actually put it on. Or they could use it to see how a piece of art would look above their mantle before purchasing it.”
“Consumers could even use an AR app to find out critical information about a product before purchasing it. Imagine pointing your phone’s camera at a car in a dealership and having the make, model, mileage, engine specs and price displayed in boxes around the car.”
“As the name implies, AR has the ability to augment the world around us, and the opportunities for brands to capitalize on that are practically
On how poor text rendering has already hurt AR/VR experiences
Image by Paul Bence via Unsplash (CC0)
“…AR/VR applications are yet another touchpoint where consumers can interact with and experience a brand in an immersive way. Creating a high-quality and consistent look, feel and experience is critical to helping brands capture the attention of consumers in a way that is identifiable, familiar and on-brand.”
“AR/VR becomes another important channel for brands to do business and create relationships with consumers. And, when text doesn’t render correctly, or the experience isn’t on-brand, the consumer experience suffers and so does the opportunity to do business with the consumer.”
“Until now, text in many AR/VR experiences has been unclear, hard-to- read and poorly placed, which can lead to eye strain or even nausea. More specific challenges include poor legibility, lack of scalability across devices and limited localization.”
“Without an effective solution, these challenges lead to negative experiences that can cause some consumers to completely abandon using a brand’s AR/VR application altogether.”
On how brands can leverage AR to their advantage, and how they can do so properly
Image by Angela Franklin via Unsplash (CC0)
“As brands strive to create consistency in their important design elements, like colors, imagery and fonts, they need to extend that consistency to AR experiences, too.”
“AR experiences have to provide customers with value. AR has to help communicate the brand story and immerse audiences in an experience that demonstrates how valuable the brand can be for them. It’s not enough to blow away audiences with impressive effects.”
“Fonts used in print or online channels may look different when used in AR applications, so it’s important for brands to select and implement fonts that are both legible and consistent with the other fonts they’re using across different touchpoints.”
“Any application of text in AR should be able to dynamically change to accommodate a variety of languages and their specific nuances—like spacing requirements or characters that change depending on how they are used in words. Seek out solutions that enable this functionality so that your AR experiences can go wherever your audiences live.”
Check out Monotype’s recommended AR/VR fonts for developers, marketers, and product managers.
[via Monotype, images via various sources]
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