New Typeface Makes it Easier for Dyslexics to Read
When I came across the new typeface Dyslexie, designed to make it easier for those with dyslexia to read, I was intrigued. How could a typeface combat the effects of dyslexia?
On the other hand, I’ve heard all the hubbub about serif fonts (i.e. Times New Roman, or Courier) and readability. The actual serifs, or “semi-structural details on the ends of some strokes,” might make it easier for people to read. So, I’m not completely uninformed about the ways in which typefaces affect our reading.
Christian Boer, a type designer with Studiostudio in the Netherlands, designed Dyslexie with different “weights” than those found in most fonts, with the specific purpose of distinguishing between certain letters that dyslexics often confuse, like ‘b’ and ‘d’, or ‘i’ and ‘j’–making the case that many of the letters in the English alphabet are too similar to be quickly discerned by people with reading problems. Boer also tested his new font on various readers suffering from dyslexia to mark the improvement of their reading.
But, dyslexics often have issues with both reading comprehension and reading speed. Was Dyslexie effective in both areas? Renske de Leeuw at the University of Twente Master’s thesis posed similar questions about the new font. And, de Leeuw found that while troubled readers’ rate of reading might not have changed, their comprehension did show signs of improvement.
However, what most intrigues me about this new font is that Boer, the font designer, also suffers from dyslexia. Giving the designer a unique opportunity to find a creative solution to this letter-transposing conundrum, dyslexia.
The only question that remains is: does this new typeface make it easier for so-called “normal” readers to read, too? Try it here, and let me know.