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By on December 16, 2009, with 53 Comments

Type Addicted is a typography book, often used by designers and graphic artists. Aside all this, probably it became popular just because of its front cover. Up-close the cover is an unassuming pattern of black and white triangles, but when you try and view the cover from a few feet back, the title of the book comes into focus. You can see the photo of this posted below. Each of these methods will help seeing the illusion: narrow your eyes and relax them, go slightly cross-eyed, and/or simply move few feet away from your monitor. Still, the best method for seeing this is reserved for those of you using our widget – shrinked thumbnail reveals it all, ayeh? If you wish to see more illusions that work on the same principal, you should check Soulwax CD cover, as well as pixelated versions of Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp, etc… Does anyone understand the science behind this? Only thing I noticed is that some of the black triangles (that produce letters) are slightly blurred. As always, chime in and let me know what you think about our newest illusion!

type addicted optical illusion
type addicted optica lillusion

  • shruti

    wow its cool !!!!

    really i got “TYPE ADDICTED” !!

  • Terra Wah

    I love these

  • egdirbr

    that is cool!

  • Rudy

    Cool. It seems that in all the background pixels the black and white triangles are the same size, and in the ‘on’ pixels the black triangle is bigger (it includes the diagonal line).

  • http://www.myspace.com/callingforhuey Tinderbox

    Yeah, It’s got to be a case of the Title square having slightly more black in them, so as suggested above, the diagonal line would be ideal. Nice illusion though. Good analogy for taking a step back to see the bigger picture!

  • Art

    What i can tell from looking close . is i can see that the portion of the black triangles that make the letters are slightly bigger.
    If anyone played with paint , it’s like extra line of pixels to make something wider or taller .

    That’s why we can’t see it up close cause some people will see that there is something odd with it , but will not see the picture . but walking away that fatter triable fills in white space more then the rest and you can see the pattern .

  • Jupiter

    Wow. It worked. It took a while but when I looked at it with my eyes squinted it finally showed up. I also found it interesting that if you look “through” it (kinda like the magic eye pictures) its a field of hollow cubes…

    • Annie

      i dont likke the Magic Eye pictures. i never learned how to see them lol but if i squint i can see it says TYPE ADDICTED across the book

  • Care Bear

    Now you’ve made my eyeballs go wonky. This is not an illusion that goes well with blended bi-focals.

    • Sue

      Funny….I have varifocals and if I lift my head up, I can see the image!

  • Nizati

    Very cool ^___^


    It took me awhile, I could only see it if I crossed my eyes, Then the words are crystal clear, but only for a few seconds then they fade away. Neat illusion, but now my eyes are sore!!

  • Ajidicia

    Hi, As Rudy says, it’s seems that the diagonal line is part of the “trick”. Another part is that the white triangles which are included in the title of the book are not totaly white, but are a bit grey.

  • evee44

    I saw it eventually. The top image of the book at an angle is easier to see though. It seems the further from the imgae, the easier it is to see.

  • T.J

    I just squinted and I could see it straight away.

  • Janice

    Wow amazing! I love these :D

  • http://www.embeddeddesigners.com Jean Pierre

    This one I like… Simple but great.
    Just looking at it didn’t do it for me, but moving my head from left to right and back while looking at it did…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Felipe-Jiyuu-Hage/704187308 Felipe Jiyuu Hage

    F Awesome

  • Samuel Norbury

    awesome. Just awesome.
    Also works very well if you scroll up and down =D

  • Victoria

    oh my gosh i saw it! in case you dont see it try to look at your nose

  • http://AuburnNotRed.blogspot.com Taylor B.


  • Anonymous

    If you can’t see it, I blurred the image and posted the result at:

    A contrast and brightness enhanced version is at:

  • popesantaxiv

    Or simply take off your glasses if you have very poor vision. =)

    Excellent illusion!

  • Danny Hodgetts

    I went into paint to investigate this, and found that the letters had an extra row of lines… I played around with these for a while and I could write my own text in it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Elizabeth-Romanova/1284782171 Elizabeth Romanova

    How is it done? Nice illusion ^^

  • vp

    Nice idea. Face to face the person would not see.

  • Sara

    i am short-sighted, and for a moment i wasn’t wearing my glasses and it was pretty shocking seeing the title appearing on the cover! glasses back on: puff! title gone! :) ahaha

  • Joep

    So, assuming that the people that see an extra line of pixels are right, I think the “science” behind this is that your eye will not be able to resolve the edge between black and white at some point. It will then make the edge of the trangles appear grey. However the eye will still be sensitive for contrast in the grey and will therefore show a different contrast for the ‘dark’ and ‘light’ pixels.

  • Nemanja Curcic

    some black triangles are a bit larger and that’s the cause

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Maddie-Thats-me/1258154791 Maddie Thats-me

    Ow…it makes my eyes tired really quickly. This may be affected by the fact that I am really tired right now.

  • Jon

    There are a few lighter pixels (a dark grey) around the black triangles that form the letters that are very hard to notice.

  • wowaname

    popesantaxiv is right. Especially if you’re using a Wii :p

  • cheese

    hello my name is cheese this is a gay illusion i can do better than this by pulling down my pants.

  • Vicki

    If you’re lucky enough to wear bifocals, (finally, a plus!) tilt your head back so you’re looking through the bottom of the lens and it will appear.

  • anthony miller

    I noticed “type addicted” right away upon looking at it but wasn’t convinced that I had deciphered the whole allusion. I think it happened so quik for me because I didnt look directly at it, just viewing it from the corner of my eye.

  • NeoNeo

    lol i love these kinda illusions i think i saw “TYPE ADDICT ED”

  • Xobubblie

    I didn’t see it. How come? =(

  • http://baniverso.com Bani

    I have the impression that it works like those Magic Eye books

  • Anonymous


  • Andy

    It seems like the ‘square’ border around each black/white triangle pair is also slightly different… there is a distinct solid black line bordering the ‘on’ areas between each ‘on’ block ?

  • ewaff832

    When I take my glasses off, I see it perfectly with no effort. With them on, I can barely see it at all.

  • http://RealAdvice.com Brandon Gerson

    I dont see a thing

  • Tim Ammons

    That’s awesome! Also if you take the negative of that (I simply print screened and inverted colors in ms paint) it comes out in white instead of black. Did it to see if I could notice anything from rapidly cycling between the normal and negative.. but no such luck..

    The blur sounds good to me.. I could see it a bit after magnifying.. the extra bits of pixels.. and ewaff832’s comment seems to reconfirm it also

  • http://www.miaskiewicz.com Grzegorz Miaskiewicz

    It is actually quite easy to do in Photoshop with semi-opaque layer masks layered on top of each other.

  • girlie

    i don’t see it

  • Hi

    i dont see it… it just gives me a headache…

    • Lanney

      Move your head a bit back from your monitor and blur or squint your eyes it works.

  • buguelson gauthier

    whats written on the book is type addicted, that was so easy

  • buguelson gauthier

    i am the first to realize that

  • crikey mikey

    It’s telling me to KILL. Why would it tell me to do that?

  • o.i.e.

    go back squint/unfocus your vishion and you will see it!

  • Danny

    Anyone who can create a (small) program to ‘substract’ the same amount of ‘normal’ triangles from this picture? Should be possible with photoshop as well …

  • Carol

    When you defocus your eyes and blur the image, you filter out some of the high spatial frequency content (the sharp edges) that interferes with your ability to see the broad shapes (lower spatial frequencies). Moving back from the screen has the same effect; you can no longer see the high frequencies, and the lower frequencies move into a range to which you’re more sensitive.