Can Typography Help Dyslexic Readers?

Typography is pretty amazing stuff. It can do so much more than inspire hate,  as is the case with Comic Sans.

A couple of years ago, for instance, MIT AgeLab looked at how changing typefaces used in cars could help reduce accidents. The study found that certain typeface styles can shorten glance time for in-vehicle displays, and "results suggest that changes to font characteristics in in-vehicle interface design may be helpful in moving towards a goal of reducing demand and improving roadway safety."

It doesn't seem so long ago that word processors came with one font.

Christian Boer has developed the Dyslexie typeface designed to help people with dyslexia read faster and with fewer mistakes. The font, developed at the Utrecht Art Academy, won first prize at the Smart Urban Stage in 2011 in Amsterdam.

The basic idea seems to be that each letter has more of its own shape. The website says the font utilizes a "heavy base line, alternating stick/tail lengths, larger-than-normal openings, and a semi-cursive slant." 

"Traditional fonts are designed solely from an aesthetic point of view, which means they often have characteristics that make characters difficult to recognise for people with dyslexia," says the site.

Check out the website: Designed in the Dyslexie font, there is something distinctly different about the way it looks. A heavy open-ness, as if it was written on a very widely-spaced typewriter.

Posted on November 16, 2014 .