Clear Information Presentation Consortium

Clear Information Presentation Consortium

The MIT AgeLab, in collaboration with founding member Monotype and a growing consortium of organizations across several sectors, are actively exploring the impact of typographical and other design characteristics on usability (color, display conditions etc.) in glance based environments. The consortium's goal is to provide designers and engineers with actionable data to help navigate a "design landscape" overloaded with possibilities. 

Typographic design principles, and their application to the worlds of graphic design and interface design, have traditionally been guided by best practices and “designer’s intuition.” Although legibility research has been conducted for more than a century, the results of reading and legibility research often do not find their way out of the ivory tower and into the designer’s toolbox. As mobile devices place more text in front of more eyes in more places, it will be necessary to develop empirically validated knowledge of how basic typographic and design principles impact legibility and content retention.

The importance of typography—that is, the construction and use of a set of letters in a visual display—to modern life cannot be overstated. Our society is increasingly dependent on written communication, while at the same time we develop new habits for consuming that information. The foundations of typography on which those communications are built are largely carry overs from an era in which longer periods of time were devoted to reading (so-called “embedded reading”), well before the advent of modern digital displays and the explosion of "glance reading." As mobile computing has become increasingly prominent in our daily lives, not only are we reading more than ever, but we are also reading in new ways as we multi-task through life. Typographers, designers, and interface engineers are only just beginning to address the technological challenges and psychological implications of a fast-paced lifestyle that has fundamentally altered how we perceive and process information. Clear-IP was founded to examine issues of typographic and visual design through a scientific lens, while always keeping an eye on the practical applications of the research. 


For more information on membership in Clear-IP, please contact Dr. Ben D. Sawyer at

Research Projects

The Clear-IP consortium grew out of an initial line of research collaboration between the MIT AgeLab and Monotype that sought to examine text legibiltiy issues. A complete and updated listing of research projects is available here.


MIT AgeLab
1 Amherst Street, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02142
ph: 617.253.0753

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