Science & Technology

From Reduction of Space in Iron to Black Pixel in Fonts by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanongsak Imjai

If the space in iron could be reduced economizing on construction’s fixed cost, the same logic should apply to that of Black pixel in a font design to reduce printing ink used. 

     Inspired by this concept, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanongsak Imjai, Director of the Innovation and Research Institute (IRI) and structural engineer specializing in construction innovation together with Dr. Chirawat Wattanapanich, Deputy director of the Innovation and Research Institute (IRI) and Lecturer of School of Engineering, Walailak University collaborated on a redesign and a restructure of the font most frequently used in Thailand’s government agencies. 

    “In construction, the reduction of space in iron is called Cellar Beam. I assumed it could be done in a font design, so we set out with TH Sarabun 14 Pt. or 16 Pt. However, it becomes slightly bigger to an 18 Pt. for a heading,” said Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanongsak. The question is how far the reduction of space called Black pixels can go to decrease as much the amount of printing ink as possible, and whether clarity of the font subsequently remains unaltered to an extent in which no difference can be felt by its users. With research grant from the 26th TORAY scholarship 2019, the team initiated the development of new software, followed by a rigorous assessment process validating the restructured font’s aimed quality. 

    Explaining further about the assessment process Assoc. Prof. Dr. Thanongsak said, “We use both Paired-test and Proof test to confirm the font’s intact visibility. for the first, the participants were given Sheet A displaying the original font design and Sheet B displaying the redesigned called a Hollow face implying existence of microscale holes. For the latter, a satisfaction survey was distributed to real users. Positive results were given and the font helped to save printing ink by 30 %.”

   An article on this topic has been published in the journal Sustainability in Q1 Scopus journal. The reinvented font has been registered for a patent from Walailak University Southern Thailand Science park (WU-STSP) and available for free as TH Imjai-Ecofont. 


News by Nootchanat Sukkaew 

Division of Corporate Communication (DCC)