Volvo Internship
In–Car Typography Study

To discover how glance-based legibility could improve the user experience in car environments,
and to investigate which elements could affect the visual communication of in-car user interfaces.

[ problem ]

None of the typefaces that Volvo uses today in its displays are designed for screen use, but as screen resolution continues to get sharper and sharper, eventually the imperfections will become evident.

" Highly legible typefaces could decrease distracted driving, and ultimately, save lives. "

— The MIT AgeLab

[ solution ]

Volvo identifies strongly with Instrument, their in–house typeface, so refining the existing typeface not only offers a better experience to the users, but it can help the brand take its place in the digital age.

[ legibility test ]

legibility test

[ test result ]

San Francisco won the most legible typeface out of 5,
but what makes SF so easy to read on screen?

[ why It Works ]

[ one ]


[ two ]

negative space


space between each letters


space outside of the letters


space inside of the letters

[ three ]

alternate numeral

[ but ]

the sad news is…

SF is designed and owned – by Apple.

[ suggestions for the future ]

type design

[ one ]

Develop an in-house typeface

It can maintain good balance between the brand identity and functionality; also, it can offer an exclusive look.

type design

[ two ]

Refine the existing typeface

Simply, refreshing the look of the typeface and create better structure can upgrade the look and feel of the interface.

[ Volvo Typeface Study ]

None of Volvo’s typefaces are designed for screen use, but screen technology
is rapidly improving. Sooner or later, it will become a bigger problem.

Instrument has a very strong Volvo identity,
but there is room for improvement.

[ first ]


[ second ]

Numeral Characters

[ conclusion ]


Different age groups have different expectations



Adding a setting that allows the users to adjust type size, and weight on screen will be a win-win solution.

[ thank you ]

I found typography is extremely fascinating,
and I hope you feel the same way too.
Thank you very much!

" Typography was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can’t capture, and i found it fascinating."

— Steve Jobs, 2006