Font blog "Universal design font (Universal Design font)"


This time about "Universal design font" (Universal Design font).

Fontworks' Universal Design font is also in high demand as a built-in font for digital devices, including the use on paper media. The use as "font" has also increased rapidly.
I've come to see it often used in digital contents such as animation and games.
Personally, I like the small type not only for the beauty of UD Mincho but also for the square and round gogos. I often use it for presentation materials and planning documents, but I like it because the number design is neat and easy to read.

By the way, this time, I would like to talk about the characteristics of "Fontworks Universal Design font".

About Fontworks Universal Design fonts

The most distinctive feature of Fontworks Universal Design fonts is the beauty of the font design, combined with the high levels of [readability], [visibility], and [discrimination], which are indicators of readability and legibility. ] Is the point that it has.

In the first place, the design in the typeface is made on the condition that many people can recognize the letters correctly. In other words, the general typeface already has some Universal Design elements as a function.

Therefore, the Fontworks Universal Design font is designed to have "readability", "visibility", and "discrimination" that are "higher". In addition, the design was designed to enhance the characteristics of Universal Design without sacrificing the original [aesthetics] of the typeface.

What is "universal design"?

There are various people living in the world, such as adults, children, and adults, taller people, lower people, right-handed people, left-handed people, people wearing glasses, people using canes, etc. I am.
Making things easier to use for each and every one of these. Make it more understandable. Universal design begins with thinking and making things based on the viewpoints and feelings of the users.

People live by collecting information through sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. Among them, it is said that information collection using vision is said to close 80 to 90%, and it is no exaggeration to say that it plays a very important role in life.

One of the actions of seeing information and seeing is reading and understanding letters.

Among them, the universal design font (Universal Design font) was derived by considering how it is easier to read, easier to see, and easier to convey.

At Fontworks, we are conducting R&D activities with the aim of contributing to a society in which people can live with peace of mind by focusing their attention on fonts, without any inconvenience in life.

What kind of font is Universal Design Font?

The basic idea of "fonts that are easy for everyone to read" is the same for any Universal Design font in any country, any company. However, the definition of what kind of design it can be called a Universal Design font is still ambiguous.

In the first place, we at Fontworks believe that the design of all fonts must be universal design. This is because the typeface (design) in the typeface is produced on the condition that many people can recognize the character correctly. In other words, it can be said that a general typeface that does not have the word "Universal Design" has some Universal Design elements.

On the other hand, it may require a distinctive design depending on the intended use. For example, there is a font with a strong design, but in this case, I have the idea that it is a font with a “universal design” that is lower than general fonts.

Therefore, we decided to use Universal Design fonts for fonts that have the characteristic of having a higher universal design, and focus on [readability], [visibility], and [discrimination], and attach importance to them. I decided to carry out an evaluation experiment on [aesthetics] so that the beauty of the characters would not be impaired.

Furthermore, based on the results obtained in the evaluation experiment, we conducted a research to explore the relationship in order to pursue what kind of font shape (design) is a necessary element for universal design.

Introduction of R&D activities

Research highlights

Conducted the industry's first font comparison experiment

  1. 1 This is not a specific and limited object or application that has been common in Universal Design font experiments so far, but a fair experiment in which an objective evaluation can be obtained using general fonts and Universal Design fonts of our company and other manufacturers. That
  2. 2 young people, that the elderly, is a wide range of age groups, such as design-related work experience in experiments with subjects

Joint research with Faculty of Design Kyushu University

  1. 1 Research from a wide range of perspectives by experts in visual symbols, graphic design, visual psychophysics, and web design

Pursuit of font shapes that universal design should have

  1. (1) Pursue the relationship between the results of comparative experiments and font shape measurement results, and seek the necessary elements for Universal Design fonts.

[Readability] [Visibility] [Discrimination] [Aesthetic] evaluation experiment

Readability and aesthetics

We conducted an evaluation experiment to find out which design font has high readability, visibility, distinction, and aesthetics. [Readability] [Aesthetic] is a paired comparison method that selects which of the two is better, [Visibility] is a scoring method that evaluates visibility on a scale of 5, and [Discrimination] is correct. We adopted a four-way compulsory selection that forces you to choose from among the four.

As a result, it became clear what kind of font was superior in [readability], [visibility], [discrimination], and [aesthetics], or all of them, and generally "universal design" is "high". I was able to determine whether it is recognized as a font.

At the same time, the Universal Design fonts that we are currently releasing have also achieved results that exceed the standard values, and have been certified as fonts with universal design performance.


Research exploring relevance

In order to clarify what kind of font morphological attributes affect the evaluation, we measured the shape of the font and determined its physical characteristics. After that, the font morphological attributes were extracted by cluster analysis, and verification was performed by performing a correlation test with the results of [readability], [visibility], [discriminability], and [aesthetic] obtained in the evaluation experiment.
As a result, at the current research stage, it was found that [readable] and [aesthetic] are closely related to the font shape (design).

Measured attributes

Character area

Average Kanji and Kana face area

Average alphanumeric face area


Percentage of kanji

Select the following 10 kanji and compare the width of the futokoro with the maximum face width.
Calculate average of percentage

Hiragana futokoro rate

The following 13 kanji are selected, and the area and face of the completely enclosed part
Calculate average of product ratio

Density of Kanji and Kana (blackness)

Filled in virtual body
Average percentage of area

Proportion of Kanji and alphanumeric characters (average aspect ratio)

Ratio of face area to kanji

Hiragana / Katakana / Hiragana and Katakana total / alphanumeric

About Fontworks Universal Design fonts in research and development activities

In the Fontworks Universal Design font, we were able to obtain results that exceeded the numerical values set as the standard for the square Gothic type, the round Gothic type, and the Mincho type in the experiment.

I hope you can use it as a font with excellent [readableness], [visibility], [discrimination], and [aesthetics]!

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