Palinopsia

2021

Experimental Type Design



Palinopsia (Greek [pælɪˈnəʊpɪə]: palin = again and opsia = seeing) is an animated typography experiment that challenges commonly held notions of legibility. The title of the project comes from a medical condition where a person experiences a persistent recurrence of a visual image after the stimulus has been removed.

In this exercise the circular shapes animate along paths to complete the form of known glyphs, leaving visual artifacts. Since individual letters will never appear complete at any given moment the viewer is required to focus in a way that is foreign to the usual act of reading.

A new kind of “reading” however can be achieved with a rapid succession of individual letters where the viewer remembers the previous letters to form the intended word. Resulting in a process similar to when a child first learns to read, wherein they must read each letter rather than scan a word for memorized visual cues.

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