Dyslexie, a Typeface Designed for People with Dyslexia

Image from www.theletter.co.uk
For people with Dyslexia, reading text can be difficult because many letters are quite similar. For most people reading is fluid, so it’s hard to imagine feeling a different way. Dyslexics rotate and exchange the letters. For example, it’s common to switch the letters: b, q, p, and d.

When he was a university student in 2008, a dyslexic designer from the Netherlands, Christian Boer, created a typeface, Dyslexie, that improves the reading experience for people with Dyslexia. The goal of this project was to create a font that resulted in less reading erros. Initial research shows that this typeface works!. He used his experience to create typography and used eight other people with Dyslexia to refine the typeface. Extensive research and work went into this project. Boer claims to have worked on the letter “a” for 12 hours!

So, what makes this typeface different? Traditional typefaces are uniform; Boer created subtle differences, so it was easier to distinguish letters. The main change is the visual “weight” added to the bottom of the letters. This keeps the letters pinned to the baseline which makes it easier to read because people with Dyslexia sometimes move letters around in their mind. Boer also lengthed letters like “h,” increased the openings of letters like “e” and tipped straight letters like “j.” Dyslexie has bold punctuations and capital letters at the beginning and end of sentences so the text won’t read as a one long sentence. All of these changes make the text easier to distinguish from one another in the mind of a person with Dyslexia.

Boer says “Dyslexie is not a cure, but I see the font as something like a wheelchair.”

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