tv subtitles

When you are watching a movie with subtitles, do you feel compelled to read the subtitles even though (a) the movie is already in a language you understand, or (b) the subtitles are in a language you can't read?

We are all wired to pick up patterns – and for many of us, text is a must-decipher challenge for our eyes and brains. We can’t seem to help trying to read text.

Assuming you read English, do you find yourself trying to read the following signs? Notice your eyes latching on to the familiar letters and trying different ways to connect them to the unfamiliar characters?


How about the following paragraph?

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

This preoccupation with trying to read text in front of us has been the bane of many a design presentation.

Using dummy text like Lorem Ipsum is unavoidable in visual design. It is useful in helping us to evaluate the type selection and its relationship to the other elements of the design. As long as we can compel ourselves to not read it!

(Apologies to those who read Greek, Islandic and Russian. The samples above were generated with Google Translate to make a point and are probably grammatically atrocious.)Image: TV source image via Shutterstock.