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What The Font Is That Font?

New smartphone app will tell you ... sort of

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Picture this: you are sitting at your favorite coffeeshop, slurping on an iced vanilla soy latte and flipping through the pages of a magazine or newspaper. A headline catches your eye: "Something Went Wrong in Jet Crash, Expert Says." You are fascinated, not because of the headline's duh factor, but because it is set in a font so intriguing, you can't look away. You must know what that font is. But how?

What the Font wants to do for the alphabet-inquisitive what Shazam does for those who want to know the name of the song playing overhead in a bar or store. With What the Font, you take a picture of the text you want to identify, upload it to the program's database and receive a list of possible matches. That's right, a list of possible matches. Unlike Shazam, which either identifies a specific song or not, What the Font leaves it up to the user to decipher which of the 10, 20 or 30 fonts looks most like the one he or she is trying to identify.

Graphic designers or illustrators might find this app handy when trying to decide on what font to use. For the rest of us, does it really matter if the font is in Comic Sans or Papyrus? Probably not. What we should be more concerned about is who wrote that ridiculous headline.

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