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24th January 2017

Monotype Joins the MIT Clear-IP Consortium as Founding Member

It is go go go at Monotype HQ as the extensive team of type specialists announces an incredible new role for the company. Now more than ever before, scientists, psychologists, sociologists, engineers, designers, architects and just about everyone else are looking to visual elements of our day to day design-led experiences to find room for improved versatility and easy of use. Subsequently, Monotype has joined the MIT Clear-IP Consortium as a founding member.
The Clear Information Presentation Consortium (Clear-IP) is a consortium created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) AgeLab. Monotype and MIT have collaborated on research on the topic of typography and legibility in quick glance environments, researching topics such as the influence of typeface style, size, weight, width and line spacing, as well as polarity and ambient light on legibility. Clear-IP is the evolution of Monotype’s and MIT’s research collaboration that started in 2012. By expanding membership and pooling resources, Clear-IP can broaden its research and explore emerging topics related to legibility, type and design. 
Humanist typeface displayed for MIT AgeLab demo, courtesy of Thunder Sky
Clear-IP aims to drive research that investigates legibility and design questions relating to reading in brief glances. Reading in short bursts of attention is increasingly prevalent as smartphones, smartwatches, fitness bands, automotive and digital dashboards, advertisements, product labelling and packaging, tablets and other screens are glanced at hundreds of times a day. 
We live in a society where it’s an undisputed expectation that you have a smartphone or a laptop or some sort of communicative digital device, but there is a huge lack of research to guide design decisions on how information is best read and retained in glances. Typographers, designers and interface engineers are only beginning to address the technological challenges and psychological implications of a fast-paced lifestyle that has fundamentally altered how information is perceived and processed. Clear-IP aims to bring together a wide variety of stakeholders with common interests in having empirical data to guide decisions on typography and design.
“Through our work with Monotype, we’ve found that certain type styles have an impact on how fast people can read information under specific conditions. However, this work is only the beginning in learning how type, design, technology, environmental and human factors play into glance-based reading. With Clear-IP, we now have an organisation dedicated to isolating and understanding the tradeoffs surrounding the questions of modern typographic design and information presentation. The time is right to reach across industries and work together with other companies and influencers to establish best practices for quick-glance reading in places like automotive displays, wearables, labelling, advertisements and other mediums,” - Bryan Reimer, Ph.D. Research Scientist at MIT AgeLab and member of the Clear-IP board of directors.

More information on Clear-IP research and member benefits can be found here.

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