Typefaces and Taste (08-03-17)

Typefaces bring different sorts of tastes to mind.  Velasco and his team have found via a study with words written in 3 languages (Spanish, English, and Chinese) and conducted with participants from 3 countries (Columbia, the United Kingdom, and China) that  “People associate tastes and taste words (e.g., “bitter,” “sweet,” etc.) with shape features in predictable ways. . . . rounder typefaces were reliably associated with the word sweet, whereas more angular typefaces were associated with the other tastes in all 3 languages and countries. . . .  Moreover, the results also indicate that all of the participants evaluated the angular typefaces in Spanish and English as more bitter, salty, and sour than the round typefaces in Spanish and English, but this angular/rounded effect was not found with Chinese typefaces. Additionally, the rounder typefaces were evaluated as sweeter than the angular typefaces in all languages and countries.”  These findings are consistent with prior research linking curvier shapes to comfort.

Carlos Velasco, Andy Woods, Xiaoang Wan, Alejandro Salgado-Montejo, Cesar Barnal-Torres, Adrian Cheok, and Charles Spence.  “The Taste of Typefaces in Different Countries and Languages.”  Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, in press.