Design Digest

Spector Is A Handy Colour & Font Detector

All images © Darek Fortas

Here’s a scenario that most designers have faced. You see a really great typeface on a magazine or book. You like the colours used in an advertisement at a bus stop. You snap a picture to keep a reference for later. You get home and you get in front of your computer and try to replicate it but somehow, you just can’t find the exact typeface or even match the colours perfectly.


Fiona O’Leary, a Royal College of Art graduate, has designed device that can identify the font used in any book, magazine, and all kinds of print media. Spector, which is only a prototype, but a working prototype nonetheless, works as an InDesign plugin that connects to a computer wirelessly via bluetooth. Spector has a camera on its underside that sends a live feed of the images to the computer and matches the picture to a font database.


All the user has to do is point the device at any piece of print material and press the button.


“I came up with this idea from my frustration with designing for print on screen, it never looks like it does on screen as it does in the finalised print,” said Fiona. “As designers we always collect lots of nice samples of inspiration and I wanted to utilise these samples.

Besides fonts, Spector can also detect colours and gives its specific RBG or CMYK values.


Fiona said that she would like to bring it to market and is currently looking for streams of funding, with the hopes of launching this product on Kickstarter within the next year or two, along with a special type specimen book.

You can connect with Fiona via Twitter @fionaoleary_ie or visit her website to see the rest of her incredible work.

All the best to you Fiona! We would love to see Spector in the market some day 🙂


All images © Darek Fortas

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