Koch dissertation defense presentation december 9, 2011
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Koch dissertation defense presentation december 9, 2011

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"Human emotion response to typographic design" Dissertation December 9, 2011

"Human emotion response to typographic design" Dissertation December 9, 2011

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  • Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge and introduce the members of my dissertation committee:From the College of Design—Dr. Barbara Martinson, my committee chairMy co-advisorsDr. Brad Hokanson, andDr. Sue Chu, andfrom the department of Curriculum and Instruction, mycommittee member Dr. Patricia Avery,
  • The field of graphic design has much to offer people in terms of organizing, shaping, and prioritizing information …in fact...
  • Typography is a key subject in graphic design. It is used and understood as a method to impart emphasis, hierarchy, and give meaning to communications—but—there are no rules to guide designing or to help us interpret typographic meaning.
  • As infants, most human beings learn about the world through visual means.We learn to communicate with caregivers visually, first interpreting the human face.Visual communication is social.Even though people develop their own sense of beauty, we also develop a socially-shared sense of aesthetics.Members within a given society or culture interpret imagery in much the same way as as the rest of the people in their community.Even though students in university typography classes expressed the difficulty in knowing how to select typefaces to communicate specific meaning, most people…
  • There are a number of ways that designers combine typography and image to communicate a message,just as there have been a number of methods and machinery for typesetting and printing throughout history.Today, technology continues to impress changes on the practice of graphic design and typography,and to exert pressure on the general public to adopt sophisticated communication tools, methods, and processes.As a result …
  • There were three objectives in this study:
  • By understanding whether there are specific visual references that designers can consistently utilize to influence emotional responses, designers can purposefully aim to moderate audience response and behavior: … for example,…designers could increase effectiveness of learning designs, improve the effectiveness and results of advertising, or boost the aesthetic richness of a brand.
  • In 1974, Rudolph Arnheim, a German-born author, art and film theorist, and perceptual psychologist, had already theorized that “Every aspect of a visual experience has its physiological counterpart in the nervous system” (p.17). Today, modern advances in medical imaging technology and findings brain research have revealed the neurological pathways of vision.The literature review is drawn from multiple disciplines, and covers…Vision;the brain;Emotion;Design theories; and studies about the meaning of typography.
  • How do we all seem to see and understand things the same way? One reason may have to do with relatively recent research that has uncovered how the eyes and brain interpret visual signals.Sight occurs through the eyes, but vision occurs deep within the brain. If we can figure out what design features that the eye and brain respond to, we might be able to figure out how visual literacy works.And, understanding how the eyes work and how the brain processes visual signals could help us to create more effective designs.
  • Over a number of studies from diverse areas, researchers now understand that the visual system detects these specific features of vision. … MotionSpatial relationshipsColorSizeDirectionEdgesForm (shape)Pattern
  • The brain is where we perceive and interpret everything visual, andThere are two primary neural pathways that process incoming visual signals. The first is a crude, fast network where emotion helps us assess situations and calls necessary human systems into action.For example, the amygdala complex would prompt other systems to help us run quickly from a dangerous situation or to ignore something irrelevant in our environment.In non-emergency situations, emotion follows the second slower route.Information is sent to the cortex and then on the amygdala, where instead of forming an autonomic response, this time, still preconsciously, the amygdala generates and attaches emotion to incoming data and a conscious feeling is generated. The process of attaching emotional responses to information happens primarily in the right–brain and occurs a full half-second before the information is processed and reaches consciousness — Gazzaniga, 1998
  • Recentstudies show that emotion plays a big part in vision—in fact, emotion modulates vision.Emotion attaches itself very quickly to visual signals. It works so quickly that we don’t notice it.As a result of all these recent findings about how the brain and vision work,We now understand that Emotion shapes visual experience.And that design will effect audiences at an unconscious level.
  • According to psychologist Donald Norman, humans process information at three different psychological levels: reflective, behavioral, and visceral. Visceral design is preconscious and can be studied simply by putting people in front of a visual stimulus and waiting for a reaction. Emotion is a process of appraisal and the experience of it is individual, social, and cultural.Psychologists have determined that the primary emotion states are anger, fear, joy, disgust, sadness, shame, and guilt. This study adopted Scherer’s (2005) definition of emotion that is specific about the biophysical processes of emotion:“Emotion is defined as an episode of interrelated, synchronized changes in the states of all or most of the five organismic subsystems in response to the evaluation of an external or internal stimulus event as relevant to major concerns of the organism. … [emotion is] a process of coordinated changes over time” (Scherer, 1987, 2001).THE LONG DEFINITION:“Emotion is defined as an episode of interrelated, synchronized changes in the states of all or most of the five organismic subsystems [central nervous system, neuro-endocrine system, autonomic nervous system, somatic nervous system that process information, support and regulate, perform executive functions, produce behavioral action, and monitor the organism] in response to the evaluation of an external or internal stimulus event [cognitive appraisal, neurophysiological symptoms, motivational action tendencies, motor expression, subjective feeling experience] as relevant to major concerns of the organism [evaluation of objects and events, system regulation, preparation and direction of action, communication of reaction and behavioral intention, monitoring of internal state, and organism–environment interaction]. … [emotion is] a process of coordinated changes over time” (Scherer, 1987, 2001).
  • There are several theories which all share commonalities appropriate to this study, but most of these theories are situated in various disciplines apart from graphic design or typography: those disciplines include art, psychology, linguistics, mass communication, and industrial design. The theories include… The global structure of visual objects has been defined as a set of rules of ‘Gestalt” – not only does Gestalt recognize objects based on the grouping of elements in a scene, but Gestalt describes the characteristic beauty, or aesthetically pleasing form. Gestalt theory was developed in the field of psychology, and therefore it fits with a study of human visual perception.The central tenet of neuroesthetic theory is that esthetic experience is a product of brain function, that esthetic judgment is based upon universal principles of physiology rather than any cultural, historic, social or personal circumstances. (1757) Humans rely on visual and sensory perception in order to recognize objects in the environment. Whitfield’s (2005) Perceptualist Theory of Industrial Design says that humans understand the world by attaching emotion to sensory perception. The result is creation of affective knowledge that motivates appropriate action. Barry and Drake theorized about the connection between human functioningand visual communication. The purpose of the Perception Theory of Visual Communicationis to describe “the application of neurological research and accepted psychological principles to the study of visual communication”Barry later refined the theory, introducing the idea of aesthetics. The theory evolved into a theory of Perceptual Aesthetics.“Neurological research has shown that humans respond pre-consciously and consciously, logically and illogically, to visual imagery” (Barry, 2005, p. 45). Visual communication is parallel to perceptual processes; both are emotion-based systems of response. Visual Social Semiotics is situated in linguistics. It examines visual texts to deconstruct the set of rules by which members collectively understand visual resources.Contemporary semioticians study how meanings are made—the communication as well as the construction and maintenance of reality (Chandler, 2005). The meaning of visual representations are influenced by designers and at the same time those meanings are socially and culturally constructed by the audience.This study about typography and emotion, coupled with the most recent findings about neurological processing of visual perception, provides important empirical support for these six theories.
  • The alphabet (including numerals and symbols) has been described as a written notation representing vocalized sounds. The organized practice of typography evolved from the desire to distribute copies of writings.In the early 1300s, monks carefully hand copied manuscripts and developed the practice of beautiful handwriting that we know today as calligraphy.In Asia and Europe inventors developed mechanized methods referred to as moveable type, by which hundreds of copies could be reproduced on a printing press in a fraction of the time it would take to hand copy. In addition, because the size of type could be made much smaller than calligraphy, printing would take up less room and less pages. Industrial and computing advances introduced the professional trade known as typesetting. Today because of computing advances, typesetting has been absorbed into the graphic design profession. The field and practice of typography continues to be shaped by the production methods of communication.
  • Through the practice of typesetting and designing, and by the consistent use of type designs to convey meanings through typeface selection, designers have been able to affect audience understanding and thereby influence social communications.The earliest study about the meaning of typefaces was conducted by Poffenberger & Franken in 1923. Since then, 73 studies about type design have been conducted by researchers from a wide variety of disciplines, nearly all of them outside the field of graphic design.
  • Of the previous studies of typographic meanings, very few could be compared or generalized due to differences in procedures and methodologies. While 13 studies were said to investigate emotion, none actively selected to use psychologist-accepted terms for emotions. (two studies each used one validated emotion term). These are selections of the variety of language used to talk about typographic meaning
  • The methods, terminology, and stimulus selection procedures in this study were designed for maximum reproducibility.
  • Three research questions formed this study: Q1: Does viewing specific typefaces produce emotional responses? Q2: When viewing typestyle designs, do all people feel the same emotions? Q3: Are certain emotions predominantly associated with the formative design features of typefaces—differences in classification (serif or sans serif), terminal construction (angular or rounded), character width (condensed or extended), and weight (light or bold)?
  • FORMAT OF STIMULIOne important decision was how to present the format of the stimulus. In previous typography studies, stimuli had been presented all sorts of configurations. Examples from those studies are here. Language requires the brain to switch between hemispheres as it processes the information. We take in visual or auditory information (a right-brained activity) then, in order to formulate a response to that stimuli, our brains switch to left-brain functioning. This study depended upon the separation of verbal language associations or even the association of visual patterns found in reading.The purpose of this design was to avoid an interaction between visual typeface design features and the semantic meaning of a passage of text.
  • It was equally important to fashion or to select the reporting mechanism for the study, especially in regard to capturing emotion data. Emotion Psychologists often use physiological measures such as heart rate, skin conductance response, functional magnetic resonance imaging and PET scans to measure emotion. Researchers typically use a written questionnaire or a verbal interview to ask people about emotional responses to stimuli. But because of the way the brain functions, I needed a different data collection method.Vision is a primary method that humans use to gather information about the world, yet according to Shibles (2010), many key philosophers and scientists assign epistemological primacy to language. However,Morrison (1986) suggested that typographic research be conducted using visual data collection methods.The non-verbal nature of the instrument is important because seeing design and feeling emotion are largely right-brained activities.
  • One of the difficulties with the current scientific literature about typography and meaning is that many of the studies employ terminology for emotions that are really just adjectives. Design researchers need to use the scientifically agreed upon terminology and the set of basic emotions described in the psychology research literature.Valence and arousal are the two primary measures of emotion. (Valence meaning whether there is a positive or negative value direction to the emotion, and Arousal meaning how strong the effect is.) Here are the product emotions that were validated by Desmet and incorporated in the most recent version of the PrEmo instrument. Although is has not been determined whether product emotions are the best measure of graphic design, Desmet’s instrument was a good starting point since it was developed to evaluate design.
  • Participants were invited from international typographic and graphic design associations. Students from the University of Minnesota were also invited via email. A convenience sample of 100 participants started the study and 42 actually completed the study.The data were analyzed to compare responses using descriptive statistics, then paired t-Tests were conducted to establish whether emotions could be linked to typographic design features. Typefaces were selected and paired according to design construction criteria: Each pair had all design features in common, except one of the features, either weight, character width, terminal construction, or classification.
  • Having arrived at the exact stimulus typestyles, I used a rubric to analyze the design features for each one of them.Although participants responded to each typestyle individually, my real interest lay in the comparisons.I paired typestyles for comparison. Each pair had only one feature that was different.It is easy to see the differences visually:
  • This study examined how people emotionally perceived different typestyle designs, as a method to understand the underpinnings of visual language.The study contributed evidence of the connection of emotion and graphic design, which had not been empirically established.
  • The study adopted an alpha level of α=.05 with a corresponding confidence level of 95%.Even though people have individual aesthetic preferences, they agreed about the emotion effects of the design examples. The Paired t-Test analysis compared the means of responses between the pairs of typefaces. This analysis revealed that participants’ emotions varied depending on the formative design features of the typeface.
  • Overall, these were major findings from the study…Participants reported emotions when viewing each of six typefaces.
  • Participant scores significantly agreed about which emotion(s) were felt for each typestyle and …
  • Paired comparisons showed significant relationships between some of the emotions and some of the design features
  • Only three emotions failed to have significance on any of the pairings: …
  • .
  • The findings from this study clearly indicate that subjects responded to typefaces with statistically significant levels of emotion, therefore I rejected the Null H1 hypothesis, “Viewing typeface designs produces no emotional response in participants.”The preponderance of subjects reported the same emotions when viewing the typestyle designs. This was observed in the charts, where responses cluster together, rather than distribute randomly. Therefore based upon observation of the charts, I rejected the Null H2 hypothesis: Subjects do not feel the same emotions when viewing different typestyle designs.In light of these findings I concluded that some emotions were associated with certain typeface design features, and therefore the Null H3 hypothesis, “There is no correlation between emotions and design features of type”, was rejected.
  • Understanding how humans respond to visual media, and through what neural channels they process visual information has significant implications.
  • This study suggests that designers should be able to use design features to shape human response behaviors and perhaps even improve the speed of visual understanding.
  • Since sophisticated technological advances in word processing programs have provided tools for designers and non-designers alike to select typefaces, sizes, alignment, and typographic measurements such as spacing between lines (leading), it is increasingly important for people who use technology to understand design’s visual language.
  • Designers need to understand how design shapes attention, perception, emotion, and behavior—and which design features they can utilize to influence behavioral responses.
  • Graphic designers have always resisted any move to quantify the means of their creativity.But even if researchers find a way to apply scientific, even prescriptive taxonomies to design,the contextual nature of design will ensure that trained designers will always have a job to do.
  • Applying emotion and brain science to design can help solve social problems: for example, findings from this study could help… improve highway and consumer safety improve learning improve general communications help alleviate the noise of visual information
  • This study revealed which emotions are aroused by which design features and how strongly the emotions were felt.Learning about brain function and visual processing, understanding that specific brain structures process specific design features will change design theories.
  • Graphic designers need to adjust: Gestalt Theory of Visual Perception NeuroestheticsPerceptualist Theory of Industrial Design Perception Theory of Visual CommunicationPerceptual Aesthetics Theory Visual Social Semiotics
  • There is a need for design research to address human issues, typographic issues, emotion issues, and methodological issues
  • design researchers needs to to: understand how design affects people–focus on human-centered response and social influence on design study cultural and ethnic differences, and study effect of stylistic fluctuations by producing longitudinal studies.
  • Need for design research to: 70 years of research: use consistent language (personality, connotations, atmosphere, dimensions, mood, etc.) use current typographic classifications develop a system to quantify typographic measurements (bold-ness, etc.) carefully select stimuli to limit confounding features use a wider range of typefaces and identify and involve other typographic design features
  • Need for design research to: use emotion terms that have been validated by psychologists and to build a robust taxonomy of the emotion effects from viewing typestyle design features
  • There is a need for design research to: develop new visual methodologies that utilize interactive, non-verbal response mechanisms
  • Need for design field: to assess ethical issues of design and emotion and to develop best practices for designers to inform the public about psychological effects of design and to reassess the position of the designer, client, and audience: designers should not only function in the interests of clients and employers, but should perform equally as advocates to protect consumersSince this study examines four of the very basic design elements, it also has implications for the entire range of visual design disciplines, from print to products, and experiences to information and safety.
  • One of the areas where design contributes its unique knowledge, is through visualization techniques or illumination of concepts.This is one area where I feel that design can make a significant contribution to all published research.Designers should inform the research community about information visualization techniques that can be used to convey statistical information in a more comprehensive and compelling manner to promote transmission and understanding of findings.Here are two examples of information visualization developed from the statistical findings of this study, produced by two of my students.Scott Roby and…
  • By Monique Rogers.
  • Emotion touches and colors nearly all of human experience. In particular, it is well established that aesthetic visual art produces an emotional response but the connection of emotion and graphic design had not been empirically established. This study contributed evidence of this connection and its details indicate the need to update many theories that apply to graphic design with new findings from medical imaging studies of the brain. Since the time of the early philosophers, authors have speculated about the existence of some invisible underlying visual language that informed humans and helped us make meaning of our natural surroundings and the objects in our environment—including our artistic creations and written language. This study hypothesized that this connection could be found from understanding how the brain processed visual features and it tested this hypothesis by examining emotion responses to typefaces. As a result, I concluded that because people reported similar emotion responses to typographic design features, the study strongly suggests that design’s underlying features represent a common visual language.Thank You!

Koch dissertation defense presentation december 9, 2011 Koch dissertation defense presentation december 9, 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Human emotion response to typographic designBeth E. Koch, MFA, PhD Candidate
  • INTRODUCTION While much effort has been aimed at understanding the psychological underpinnings ofwritten and verbal communication,research to characterize important laws of visual language has received little attention (Changizi, 2009)
  • Not much is empirically knownabout how people comprehend visual systems such asgraphic design and typography. View slide
  • People seem to intuitively decipher the meaning of typefaces (Van Leeuwen, 2005) View slide
  • It is increasingly important for all peopleto have some degree of design understanding, not only to decipher messages, but to reciprocate with visually appropriate messages.
  • The aim of this study was toproduce empirical evidence about how peopleperceive different typefaces.
  • OBJECTIVES(1) To determine whether people report emotions when looking at typestyles;
  • OBJECTIVES(2) To understand how people respond to different typestyles; and
  • OBJECTIVES(3) To determine whether there is any linkbetween design features of typestyles and specific positive or negative emotions.
  • LITERATURE REVIEW“Ultimately the key to understanding all visual communication lies in the neurological workings of the brain” (Barry, 2005).
  • Vision Different cells in the retina become selectively tuned to detect surprisingly subtle features of the visual scene (Nelson, 2001)
  • Neural Movement (motion)Processing Spatial relationships of Visual Color Features Size Direction Edges Form (shape) Pattern
  • Emotion “Most practitioners remain unaware that what they are really selling to clients is indeed emotion” (Karjaluoto, 2008)
  • EMOTION DEFINED
  • Theoretical Gestalt Theory of Visual Perceptionunderpinning Neuroesthetics Perceptualist Theory of Industrial Design Perception Theory of Visual Communication Perceptual Aesthetics Theory Visual Social Semiotics
  • HISTORICAL FOUNDATIONS OF TYPOGRAPHY
  • STUDIES ABOUT THEMEANING OF TYPEFACES
  • Congeniality (adjectives)Personality characteristics Emotional connotation Connotative messages Emotional meaning Dress Descriptions
  • METHODS
  • Research Q1: Does viewing specific typefaces produce emotional responses?Questions Q2: When viewing typestyle designs, do all people feel the same emotions? Q3: Are certain emotions predominantly associated with the formative design features of typefaces— differences in classification (serif or sans serif), terminal construction (angular or rounded), character width (condensed or extended), and weight (light or bold)?
  • Introduction to the Declaration of Independence — Poffenberger &Franken (1923) “Now is the time for all good men… ” — Davis & Smith (1933)Artificial languages “ere sasesuthwidoterenbo” — Weaver (1949) Format to approximate English — Wendt (1968) Alphabets (ABC… abc… ?+!@...) — Kastl &Child (1968), Tannenbaum et al. (1964), Benton (1979) “Loremipsum” greek—Morrison (1986) Typeface sampler — Koch (2011)
  • Data Presentation format:collection Non-verbal reporting Mechanism (Morrison, 1986)
  • Participants
  • FINDINGS
  • Analysis Paired t-Tests α = .05 andFindings People respond totype designs withemotion. Certain emotions are associated with the formative design features of typefaces.
  • Weight Results indicate that the light weight typeface Helvetica Light is more desired more satisfying and more fascinating than heavy weight typeface Helvetica Bold Desire paired t(df 41) = 3.3, p = 0.001 (95% confidence) Satisfaction paired t(df 41) = 2.6, p = 0.01 (95% confidence) Fascination paired t(df 41) = 4.0, p = 0.0001 (95% confidence)
  • Weight Results indicate that the heavy weight typeface Helvetica Bold is more dissatisfying and subjects reported more fear than light weight typeface Helvetica Light Dissatisfaction paired t(df 41) = 2.3, p = 0.026 (95% confidence) Fear paired t(df 41) = 2.5, p = 0.01 (95% confidence)
  • Classification Emotion responses indicate that the serif typeface Glypha Medium is more satisfying than sans serif typeface Helvetica Bold Satisfaction paired t(df 41) = 2.1, p = 0.03 (95% confidence)
  • Classification Emotion responses indicate that the sans serif typeface Helvetica Bold is not significantly different than than serif typeface Glypha Medium
  • Terminals Emotion responses to the rounded terminals of the typeface Helvetica Rounded Bold are Not significantly different than than emotion responses to the square terminals of the typeface Helvetica Bold.
  • Terminals Emotion responses to the square terminals of the typeface Helvetica Bold are Not significantly different than than emotion responses to the rounded terminals of the typeface Helvetica Rounded Bold .
  • Character width Narrow character width of typeface Helvetica Bold Condensed is more desired more satisfying more joyful and more fascinating than wide character width of typeface Helvetica Extended Bold. Desire paired t(df 41) = 3.3,p= 0.001 (95% confidence) Satisfaction paired t(df 41) = 2.6, p = 0.01 (95% confidence) Joy paired t(df 41) = 2.8, p = 0.007 (95% confidence) Fascination paired t(df 41) = 4.0, p = 0.03 (95% confidence)
  • Character width Wide character width of typeface Helvetica Extended Bold is more dissatisfying more fearful more sad and more boring than narrow character width of typeface Helvetica Bold Condensed. Dissatisfaction paired t(df 41) = 2.05, p= 0.04 (95% confidence) Fear paired t(df 41) = 2.38, p = 0.0004 (95% confidence) Sadness paired t(df 41) = 3.3, p = 0.002 (95% confidence) Boredom paired t(df 41) = 2.05, p = 0.04 (95% confidence)
  • 1. People responded to type designs with emotion rather than indifference.
  • 2. People agreed about the emotions associated with specific typefaces.
  • 3. Certain emotions were associated with the formative features of typefaces.
  • 4. Of the six positively-valenced emotions, no significance was found for pride or hope.
  • 5. Of the six negatively-valenced emotions, no significance was found for shame.
  • RESULTS
  • SIX IMPLICATIONS
  • SIX IMPLICATIONS For individuals
  • Non-expert typographersare becoming increasingly important shapers of our graphic language (Walker, 2001)
  • SIX IMPLICATIONSFor practitioners
  • “Things loved for one reason in a particular situation, can be hated for the same reason in another” (Hassenzahl, 2004)
  • SIX IMPLICATIONS For society
  • SIX IMPLICATIONS For theory
  • Gestalt Theory of Visual Perception Neuroesthetics Perceptualist Theory of Industrial Design Perception Theory of Visual Communication Perceptual Aesthetics Theory Visual Social Semiotics
  • SIX IMPLICATIONSFor design research
  • human issues
  • typographic issues
  • emotion issues
  • methodological issues
  • SIX IMPLICATIONS For the field
  • CONCLUSION