Sensor Variable Font Ivan Huelves Graphic Design FPW
15 de January de 2020

Sensor Variable Font is the Graphic Design FPW made by the former student Iván Huelves and tutored by Xelo Garrigós. The project presents a model that lays the foundation for improving the process of significance of graphical interfaces through variable sources by establishing a relationship between typography and data collected by different sensors.

Sensor Variable Font is born in an environment where cities are rapidly evolving towards so-called Smart cities, in which the Internet of Things (IoT) and citizens’ hyperconnectivity shape new paradigms of coexistence and interaction. In this context graphic design will play a crucial role, especially in relation to other disciplines such as data visualization and interaction design. Experiences with interfaces can be much more meaningful with the use of variable fonts, the potential of which lies in turning typography into something alive that adapts to the environment around it.

The research carried out has been divided into four distinct phases. The first is a secondary formative research in which it defines the project and develops a theoretical framework in which pre-digital and digital parametric systems are investigated and variable typography is contextualized.

From the conclusions drawn, a research phase aimed at the practice in which the proposed model is developed is given way.

During the next phase, the suitability of the model is evaluated by applying it to different prototypes such as the interface of a computer on board a car, electronic reading devices, informational digital panels or large format screens. The following example shows the application of the model to the interface of the on-board computer in a car. The aim is to draw the driver’s attention to the possible collision as the distance between his car and another object, vehicle or person decreases. To do this, a significant Function is defined, with the intention of improving the process of significance of the graphical interface, through the principle of juxtaposition design. That is, if the shock distance decreases, the weight of the typography increases.

This is just a basic example that checks the effectiveness of the model to improve the significance process on graphical interfaces. It is the role of the designer to use the model, which highlights the value of variable typography, in more complex projects. More prototypes can be found on the project website

To develop the prototypes, a technological framework has been developed that relates sensors and the axes of variation of typography through Arduino, a server with node.js and web standards (HTML, CSS and JS).

Finally, in the final phase of research the model is reviewed from the evaluation and develops the communication of the project through the editorial design of the memory, the development of the website and the writing of a scientific article.

Recognitions to Sensor Variable Font

The Sensor Variable Font project has been recognized in two scientific publications and two workshops have been held in Higher Schools of Design.

First, the project has been selected for the third edition of DIGICOM, an International Conference on Digital Design and Communication organized by Diseño del Instituto Politécnico de Cávado y Ave. During two intense days, different scientific communications were presented. Here you can see the published article.

In addition, over the next few months the project has been selected for the publication of a chapter within the book Convergáns Research Books Collection, associated with the journal Convergáns Journal.

On the other hand, two workshops have been developed at the Escuela Superior de Diseño in Madrid and at the Escuela Superior de Media Artes y Diseño (ESMAD) of the Instituto Politécnico do Porto. During the workshop the possibilities of variable typography were introduced, the model and participants carried out prototypes of graphical interfaces linking variable typography with the data collected by sensors.

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