Designing a typeface for readers with dyslexia

Dutch designer Christian Boer presented his typeface created for dyslexic people at the 2014 Istanbul Design Biennial. Being dyslexic himself, he considers the needs and - for instance - designs letters with heavier bottom portions to prevent readers from turning them upside down. The Helvetica font is one example where the letter "n" is used upside down as a "u", where "d" is a back to front "b" and where "q" is a mirrored "p". The more similar the letters are, the harder it is for dyslexics to distinguish between them. Italicising similar letters and lengthening ascenders and descenders are other methods he uses (Dezeen).

"When they're reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds."
Christian Boer

"Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating 'twin letters' for people with dyslexia."
Christian Boer

"By changing the shape of the characters so that each is distinctly unique, the letters will no longer match one another when rotated, flipped or mirrored. Bolder capitals and punctuation will ensure that users don't accidentally read into the beginning of the next sentence."
Christian Boer

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Image via Dezeen

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