Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Georgia on My Mind: The Invisible Power of Typeface

(cross-posted with the Material Scripture blog)

My thanks to my colleagues who made sure I saw the article in The Week from a few days ago, "How Typeface Influences the Way We Read and Think."

The insight here is a helpful one for those interested in materialist questions in the study of Scriptures: namely, that the visual presentation of the words themselves create a psychological effect in the reader, leading to increased credulity (in the case, say, of Georgia) or outright derision (as in the case of Comic Sans).

The only book on the subject of which I am aware is Graphic Design and Bible Reading: Exploratory Studies in the Typographical Representation of the Text of Scripture in Translation, by E. R. Wendland and J. P. Louw. Sadly, it looks like it has gone out of print, though I do have a copy if anyone would like to do some more exploration.

Besides that one text, I have not done much formal study of typefaces in Scripture; but I am pretty sure S. Brent Rodriguez Plate has, and I would love to hear his response to this (and other responses, as well).