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George Mayerle's Eye Test Chart

George Mayerle originally created his chart as a two-sided optical tool in 1907 with the positive version on one side and the negative version on the reverse. The chart combines turn-of-the-century typography, diagnostic necessity, soothingly symmetrical design, and a progressive embrace of an ever-changing ethnic mosaic. While the image is beautifully balanced, it’s also intensely complex, each section, quadrant, and character equally capable of drawing the eye in. It’s a definite conversation starter, a journey that leads to new little discoveries the longer you look. The pictorial, centermost panel is almost hieroglyphic-like at first glance, giving off the air of some sort of aesthetically appealing Rosetta Stone. But what’s really at work here is ingeniously intelligible and perfectly pragmatic.