A new typeface may change the way dyslexics with online and computer-based media. Dyslexie uses scientific data to facilitate the reading experience for individuals struggling with word and letter recognition. Developed by Dutch graphic designer Christian Boer, the new typeface forgoes aesthetic qualities for heightened legibility and perception.
“Traditional fonts are designed purely from an aesthetic point of view, meaning that they frequently have characteristics which make some or all of their letters difficult for dyslexics to read,” the developers write on StudioStudio Graphic Design. “Sufferers of dyslexia often find themselves jumbling up the letters of a word, or inverting and flipping some letters because they look too familiar.”
Dyslexie addresses this problem by emphasizing each letter’s integrity and uniqueness. Semi-italics and varying tail-lengths are some of the tools used to ensure a clarified distinction between letters in sequence. In addition, a pronounced baseline reduces the likelihood of word inversion.
Besides independent surveys, the typeface has been the subject of formal academic inquiry. In a study conducted by researchers at the University of Twente in the Netherlands, the font promoted legibility for dyslexics, reducing the likelihood of reading errors. Compared to stock fonts like Arial, Dyslexie showed a clear advantage.
“[The study showed] a decrease in the reading errors when dyslexics read words that where printed in the font ‘Dyslexie.’” study author Renske de Leeuw writes. “This is an indication that reading with the font ‘Dyslexie’ decreases the reading errors.”
According to the developers of the typeface, the innovation has also galvanized the publishing industry. With Dyslexie, the literary world may find a way to connect with audiences traditionally considered out of reach. If implemented, the font could boost profits for both small presses and international publishing houses.
If you suffer from dyslexia, or know someone who does, check out the video below to find out more about the typeface and its potential.