Sofie Beier is professor WSR and employed at the School of Design under The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, where she is head of Centre for Visibility Design. She is the author of the books ‘Type Tricks: Your personal guide to type design’ and ‘Reading Letters: designing for legibility’. Sofie Beier is further co-founder of the analysis institute Typ, which provides services within typeface legibility and readability testing.
The main concern is a better understanding of how different typefaces and reading scenarios affect both normal an low vision readers.
In the history of design, there are many examples of designers proposing an ‘ideal typeface’. The fact of the matter is that there is no optimal typeface style. A thorough literature review shows that typeface legibility varies significantly depending on the reading situation. Consequently, what is legible at a distance is not necessarily the same in longer paragraphs that are to be read at close range.
With the growing amount of new electronic devices and media, text is not only presented to us in a number of formats never seen before but also needs to function in a wider range of situations than just a few years ago. This, of course, places additional requirements on the design of contemporary typefaces.
With more and more written communication from official authorities and news media, it is essential to understand how different typefaces and reading scenarios influence the reader and hence efficient communication.
The research focus addresses these changes in society by building on existing knowledge about reader behaviour with a particular emphasis on selected research areas within the fields of typeface legibility, graphic communication and human-computer interaction.