Sunday 6/17: Eye Charts and Petals

I took a walk on campus today, considering Maria Bantjes’s comments about curiousity and wonder, when I saw this magnolia blossom. I really struggled to get a good, in-focus photo of it. The process reminded me of the first time I put on a pair of glasses. I was five years old, but I refuse to forget the joy I felt upon walking out of the optometrist’s and seeing trees with individual leaves and flowers with petals instead of blobs on sticks that resolved themselves into petals and leaves as I got closer. It was like seeing your whole hand and a close-up of each individual skin cell at the same time. I thought I’d gained a superpower.

Every time I get new glasses, I still look at the leaves and flowers outside first.

Snellen eye chart (Source:

I’ve decided that I really want to play with the form of an eye chart. Doing a Google Image Search for eye charts was surprisingly inspiring. I was mostly looking for guidance on what the official format for eye charts is, but I realized that there’s actually a very diverse array of eye chart forms. I was particularly drawn to the Snellen eye chart. The alignment of the text seems to form the shape of a leaf or a flower petal.

I spent about 2 hours fumbling around, trying to get Photoshop to make this look like an eye chart. There is nothing quite so bizarre as going through 40 fonts and eventually deciding on Arial. I think it needs something to look more like an eye chart; possibly horizontal lines every few lines, definitely distance measurements in the margins. I’m not sure if the blur is too corny.

The color is working toward its valentine-ness, but I think it may need an image of a flower or a heart to really convey it.

I’m also considering making this the lid to a box of chocolates (which is, after all, the best generic valentine). Each row of chocolates might be less and less fuzzy because of various additives (coconut, cocoa powder, that kind of thing) to simulate an eye exam. I’m not sure if that’s getting too far afield, but I’m excited by the possibilities.


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