This New Font May Actually Help Dyslexic People Read Better: Here's How


Dyslexics tend to encounter problems when they read. However, a font created by a designer with dyslexia could potentially help people who have the condition, which the International Dyslexia Association says affects up to 10 percent of the population.

Christian Boer, a graduate of Utrecht Art Academy in Netherlands created "Dyslexie" to make reading easier for people who have dyslexia, just like himself.

Also known as developmental reading disorder, dyslexia occurs when a person's brain has difficulty recognizing and processing certain symbols.

As a child, the now 33-year old Dutch designer struggled with reading and writing. It turned out he has dyslexia which explains why sentences would appear to him as jumble of confusing blur and he tend to reverse letters.

An idea struck him during his last year in art school that prompted him to design a font that look like 3D objects and could make reading easier for those with dyslexia.

In order to avoid the problems dyslexics encounter when reading, the bottoms of the letters in Boer's new font are thicker and bolder. The artist also changed the characters that looked similar to another character to prevent confusion. Boer for instance designed the letter "s" in a way that it won't be mistaken as the number "5".

"When they're reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds," Boer said. "Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating 'twin letters' for people with dyslexia."

He also increased the size of the period and comma as well as made the capital letters that appear at the start of the sentence extra bold because people with dyslexia have the tendency to skip pauses in between sentences. Thus, the font slows them down when they read.

Based on his research, Boer said that the font allows a dyslexic child to commit fewer reading mistakes. Findings of studies conducted by researchers from the University of Amsterdam and University of Twente also support Boer's claims.

"More than three quarters of the children made fewer errors while reading when they got a text in the font Dyslexie," Boer said on his website. "The children said that they could read faster. Something that is also confirmed by more than three quarters of the parents."

The font is currently being displayed at the Istanbul Design Biennial and can be downloaded for free for home use.

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