Masato Nakada, boldly states "soon or later, we will only need ½ of letters to communicate."
To demonstrate this Masato created Type Snap, a website which allows you to play with dynamic letters which have been split vertically in two.
“I propose to cut letters in half to achieve better efficiency in the evolution of web-based typography... Typography will always evolve according to its new environment or context. Type Snap explores what typography can perform on the web. HTML5, Jquery, CSS – all of these contexts allow type to become so much more than what we are familiar with.”
Masato was inspired by Dead History, and Keedy Sans, typefaces that mashe together multiple type genres to test the limits of legibility. He was also inspired by designer Eric Hu, who built an animated typeface using an image carousel for each letter. "I built off of his idea and placed only a half a letter in a carousel box,"
The experiment aims to make reading online and on digital devices more efficient. “Not only does [splitting letters in half] increase reading speed, but we can now pack in more words and meaning. It’s no different to how a printer started to use movable type ligatures to increase their typing speed and legibility.”
Each letter half is also draggable - allowing visitors to the site to create and test their own words and phrases with the system. This in itself is quite a time vortex (as it is a lot of fun). And I was really surprised (and delighted) by a lot of the results of my play with it.
And - speaking of time vortex - I was lead down the proverbial internet rabbit hole - clicking to learn more about Masato and his work. In doing so I discovered Studio Wonder Level, and the Happening Studio - collaborative ventures with his wife karen. There is some outstanding conceptual and design work on both sites - so for those of you with a healthy dose of creative curiosity and 10 minutes up your sleeve I recommend you check the Nakada's work here and here (I also love that Masato clearly states his practice focusses on "Experimental, self-sustaining works for cultural institutions, artists and absolutely for no assholes" - that is a fabulous client filter right there!)
Read the source article on FastCo (discovered via their twitter feed) here
Or more about Nakada's thinking here