Interactive typefaces – the text of the future?

189 typeface.jpgSome students in Switzerland have created an interactive typeface. That’s a font that changes its weight, serifs and size according to how you interact with it. Their font is called Laika (perhaps after the dog the Russians sent to the moon) and it looks really beautiful, a treat for any typeface lovers.

In one installation they link a laptop to a weighing machine, and as you lean more weight on the board, the typeface become heavier too. In another, the letters move as you move your arms. As its creators point out – static text was made for static surfaces like paper so maybe interactive typefaces are what we need for computer screens.

This is what Laika’s student creators had to say about it:

“LAIKA is neither bold nor thin, but swings between these two extremes. Its form is no longer defined statically, but alters dynamically. As well as the font’s weight, the stroke contrast, serif lengths and italic angles of the font all behave dynamically too. All these parameters can be driven and influenced by a range of inputs, in order to create a typeface that changes constantly in real time.”

They have some brilliant ideas for linking different input data with different sorts of text – in love letters for example:

“In this way, an advertising text could react to passers-by, stock market prices could influence a corporate typeface, or ECG measurements taken while writing could breathe new emotional life into digital love letters.”

Imagine – a love letter where the typeface pulses up and down with the beats of your heart. HOW SWEET. Accept nothing less for Valentine’s day.

LAIKA from Michael Flückiger on Vimeo.

See more on Laika here

Anna Leach