Gadgets for humans

Spector is an IRL eyedropper tool for fonts that’s perfect for typography nerds

You don’t have to be a designer to appreciate good typography – just check out this student-made device that can detect and name fonts just by looking at it.

Called Spector, the prototype is used to snap a photo of the text to determine the letters’ shape, symbols, and weight. The algorithm then cross-references this information to a font database to match it to the correct font in the photo.


At this time, Spector can identify seven different font families, and tell you the font’s size, kerning, and leading. There’s even a mode to detect CMYK/RGB colors if you’re just looking for a hue match – similar to the eyedropper tool in Adobe Photoshop.

It’s only a college student project, but we can see many designers who would appreciate a physical tool to essentially Shazam and collect fonts and colors from the real world. Spector is not yet for sale, but if it ever becomes available, you can bet that lots of creatives will be lining up for a piece of this action.


Published July 6, 2016 — 15:30 UTC

Handheld Tool Is Like Shazam for Fonts and OMG We Need It on Wired