## Mathematicians Devise Typefaces Based On Problems of Computational Geometry 60

KentuckyFC writes:

*"Typeface design is something of an art. For many centuries, this art has been constrained by the materials available to typographers, mainly lead and wood. More recently, typographers have been freed from this constraint with the advent of digital typesetting and the number of typefaces has mushroomed. Verdana, for example, is designed specifically for computer screens. Now a father and son team of mathematicians have devised a number of typefaces based on problems they have studied in computational geometry. For example, one typeface is inspired by the folds and valleys generated by computational origami designs. Another is based on the open problem of 'whether every disjoint set of unit disks (gears or wheels) in the plane can be visited by a single taut non-self-intersecting conveyor belt.' Interestingly, several of the new typefaces also serve as puzzles in which messages are the solutions."*
## Question answered (Score:5, Insightful)

Well, at least now we know why typefaces are designed by artists and not mathematicians.

## missing the point? (Score:5, Insightful)

Traditionally, typeface designers have considered legibility and aesthetics in their work (in addition to typesetting limitations). Apparently those factors are optional now as well.

OK, these are interesting intellectual exercises. But don't try to sell them as examples of typeface design, because that's a creative discipline that goes beyond mathematical questions of "can it be done?"

## Re:Question answered (Score:4, Insightful)

## Interesting... but nearly useless (Score:4, Insightful)

## Re:missing the point? (Score:4, Insightful)

Yes, every characteristic is optional. e.g. comic sans and windings. Attempting an objective solution to an artistic problem isn't bad, the complaints that come out of that can help point you towards better objective constraints. Assuming you've succeeded because you're trying to be objective would be the only problem.

## Re:Question answered (Score:5, Insightful)

True, but I would say that was created by Knuth in the role of artist, not mathematician.

## Please (Score:4, Insightful)

Monospaced font for numbers, so they can line up in a column

## Re:Useless bullshit (Score:5, Insightful)

## zeroes (Score:3, Insightful)

Monospaced font for numbers, so they can line up in a column

Also: slashed zero, as well as some distinction between capital-i and small-l (el).

A good test string that I ran across was "Illegal1 = O0". Also, m/rn/rri (em/ar-en/ar-ar-eye), w/vv (double-u/vee-vee):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDN_homograph_attack