Meet The Spector: A Gadget That Can Detect Fonts

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Looking for a replacement for the comic sans in your poster so that the world takes you seriously? For those new to designing, picking the appropriate font and colors can be a daunting task. Just like picking the right Instagram filter, it is mostly a trial-and-error effort. Given the every-growing font repository and color palates, it can be quite difficult to replicate a font and shade that you oh-so-fell-in-love with. One possible option is taking a picture on your phone, but then again, you will have to depend on the camera quality and the processing algorithms, which basically means what-you-see is not what is clicked and stored on your phone. To tackle this issue, Fiona O’Leary from the Royal College of Art has created a handheld tool dubbed Spector, which can identify typefaces and colors and send the details to InDesign.

While she can use the device, sadly, you can’t. Created for her graduation project, reports that this concept is not yet into production, and it won’t head that way anytime soon. What that means is, you can’t ask any of your friends in the US to pick it up from Kickstarter and bring it along on their next visit. The prototype features a camera that clicks a photograph and a neat algorithm decodes important details of the font or colors. Plug the device into a computer using the accompanying cable (yes, it has a proprietary port) to relay the details to InDesign. Volia! The highlighted text will change based on the data stored.

For those not bound by a cable, the device can track as many as 20 font samples, which can be transferred to a computer later. While all of this may not be available in the near future, it can become reality soon. That said, please don’t be miserly and to turn into a criminal: swipe that dormant credit card and buy the fonts you want to use.

Kamakshi Venugopal