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One can of course make a precise set of rules that one will follow, and one might even come up with some pretty good ones. But typography is an art as well, by which I mean the range of optimizations potentially desired from a professional layout is intractably large, presenting huge problems for creating an algorithm that can equal or exceed a good human designer. Focus of the eye, retention, recall, mood to be instilled, characteristics of the speaker/brand to be projected, all factor into those decisions.

That said, if you want to go analytical on typography, you should focus on how it is used in advertising. The original work in the field, Ogilvy on Advertising[0], is still important and fun to read. Given when it was written most of the ads it discusses are quite retro (from what I can tell every industry plot point in the first season of Mad Men came directly out of this book), but Ogilvy was a giant in the field who transformed advertising from "people who write good" to a data driven research activity, starting with typography and layout.


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