New font turns data sets into images, allowing writers to enrich their texts without the need for code.
London-based data design studio After The Flood created AtF Spark, a new open source font that allows for visual presentation of information, within written documents. Building on the usefulness of Sparklines, small plugins that turn numbers into images, AtF Spark removes the need for custom coding. Now, writers can swiftly illustrate key points in their texts simply by changing the type of font.
AtF Spark works by enclosing the data to be turned into a bar, line or dot graph in curly brackets and then choosing the new font. If a start or end number would be useful, they must be typed immediately before and after the brackets and also changed to the new font. The studio has made the source code and font files available from Github and is encouraging experimentation and iteration.
As technology continues to change the ways in which people communicate, new challenges arise that themselves are then met with tech-based solutions. Emoji style advertising enables companies to seamlessly place products in instant messaging apps, and in areas of conflict, an encrypted messaging app allows for swift communication without internet access. How could new styles of communication be adapted for or incorporated into academic and scientific research papers?