How To Identify Fonts & Colors So You Can Stop Guessing

Attention typography nerds: a new doodad called The Spector identifies fonts so you can stop getting it wrong. Among the millions of techie innovations that we didn't know we needed until we had it, The Spector is a clever device that will surely be fun to use — especially because it's small and cute and wireless and those are all describing words that our generation is drawn to.

You know that little eye dropper icon in Photoshop? The one you use to sample colors? You know, you click on a color in an image and it isolates it, identifies it and makes it available for you to use on your paintbrush? The Spector does that with colors in real life, and fonts, reports Mashable. Yeah, it's a physical eyedropper, like one that works on and offline. Like, literally, you click this physical device on different color surfaces or fonts.

Basically, it's a tiny camera that scans texts and colors and instantly identifies it, wirelessly, through its internal database of what is now seven different fonts. It then sends the information to your computer where you can find it in Photoshop or InDesign. Recent college graduate and creator Fiona O'Leary intends on expanding that database, reports Wired, and she sees no limits with this project. Her inspiration to create this device was the frustration that occurs when you design something for print, on a screen and there's an obvious discrepancy between what you see on the screen and what you see in print. What O'Leary has created can take a sample from print and work backwards. This way you know what you're going to get, before you begin. You can pick a font from a magazine or a book you like and then upload it on to your computer. This way, you're not printing out lots of trials and errors and wasting paper. So yeah, you could technically say this product is *green*.

But this isn't the first tool to come out that offers the information you're dying to know from printed text. The Art Detector, created by Arman Emami in 2011, can identify font types, sizes, and colors on books, as well as colors, reports TechCracks. The revolutionary device, which won the Red-Dot Design Award 2011-2012 for Design Concept, has a scanner at the bottom and can analyze printed text or a screen's pixel information and compare it with what's in its database.

While a lot of people who work in graphic design are probably really excited about these products, O'Leary doesn't have plans to capitalize on her's — she really made it for herself. Though I imagine that after word spreads, the orders will start coming in and she might be inspired to change her mind about the future of the product.

Check out the promotional video here and see The Spector in action:

And who knows, maybe in a few months we'll see her on Shark Tank. Can't you just see her walking up to each celebrity judge and taking a snap of their shirt colors or business logo fonts?

This article has been updated from its original version.

Images: Fiona O'Leary/Vimeo