The Taste of Typeface.
Velasco C., Woods AT., Hyndman S., Spence C.
Previous research has demonstrated that typefaces can convey meaning over-and-above the actual semantic content of whatever happens to be written. Here, we demonstrate for the first time that people match basic taste words (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) to typefaces varying in their roundness versus angularity. In Experiment 1, the participants matched rounder typefaces with the word "sweet," while matching more angular typefaces with the taste words "bitter," "salty," and "sour." Experiment 2 demonstrates that rounder typefaces are liked more and are judged easier to read than their more angular counterparts. We conclude that there is a strong relationship between roundness/angularity, ease of processing, and typeface liking, which in turn influences the correspondence between typeface and taste. These results are discussed in terms of the notion of affective crossmodal correspondences.