Dyslexie: the chubby-ankled font that makes reading easier for dyslexics

Watching letters float and twist across a page, flipping and jumbling with gymnastic abandon, can be a daily frustration for readers with dyslexia. But the restless characters might soon be tamed thanks to a new font.

Developed by young Dutch designer Christian Boer, the Dyslexie typeface, currently on show at the Istanbul Design Biennial, has put all 26 letters of the alphabet through a finely-tuned process of adjustment to weigh them down and make it harder for similar letters to be confused.

“When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,” says Boer, who is dyslexic himself. “Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating ‘twin letters’ for people with dyslexia.”

To counteract this tendency, Boer has introduced a number of tweaks. First, the letters are weighted towards the bottom, as if the bulk of each character’s body has slumped downwards under accelerated gravitational pressure. This sets a heavy baseline, which makes it harder for the letters to be flipped upside down – and gives the font the look of a chubby-ankled cousin of Comic Sans.

 

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