Where form meets function

For her graduation project at the Royal College of Art, Fiona O’Leary designed a truly unique and innovative tool that captures typefaces and colors in the real world, allowing you to in turn match the exact — or closest possible — font and shade. This is of course more accurate than simply snapping a picture and comparing and contrasting via the naked eye.

Specter takes the fonts and/or colors that it captures and then transfers them directly into Adobe InDesign. All you have to do is place the handheld device over a piece of media and then press the button on top. An interior camera photographs the sample, and an algorithm translates the image into information about the shape of the typeface or the color’s CMYK/RGB values.

The details are then transferred to a font or color database that identifies the sample. Once at your computer, a custom plugin sends the font or color information to InDesign, where highlighted text or projects will automatically change to the typeface or color of your captured media. If you’re not near your computer, however, no problem. Spector can store up to 20 font samples, allowing you to then transfer the information at a later time.

For now, Spector is only a prototype; O’Leary is seemingly in no rush to commercialize it.

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