What happens when you read an illegible typography

Far from aesthetic considerations, such as Comic Sans typography is evil, the truth is that typography influences the way we read. Specifically, how we retain what we read.

This is what a study conducted by Swedish researchers in 2014 suggested, in which a group of people were read a text written in unusual and somewhat illegible typography and another known and readable typeface.

Background noise

When reading both texts in the study, subjects should be distracted by annoying background sounds. What happened is that the subjects retained less of the written text legibly due to the effects of annoying chattering, but the acoustic interruptions did not have a negative effect on the written text with unusual typography.

That is, the students retained the same as with a written text with a readable typeface in a quiet environment, as explained Henning Beck in his book To err is useful:

In short, it will definitely depend on our inner attitude if something outside distracts us. Denying the environment because it is full of distractions is not enough. Evil is not eradicated by changing the environment, but by transforming the functioning of the mind. No normal sound, less than 80 decibels, is able to divert our attention if there is one that involves a cognitive effort.

A certain typeface can even allow us to memorize a text better, like this one created ad hoc for this purpose: Sans Forgetica. Its creators, a group of researchers from different disciplines of the Royal Royal Institute of Technology in Melbourne (RMIT), say that Sans Forgetica is "the first typeface that was specifically designed to improve mental retention."

A dyslexic also decided to design his own font to reduce his reading difficulties while studying art at the HKU University of the Arts in the Netherlands. The fountain Dyslexie try to overcome some of the problems that people with dyslexia have when they read. Because of the way their brains process visual information, they will often change and rotate the letters subconsciously, making it more difficult to recognize the characters.

A key change was to make the letters with the voluminous bottom, so that they were more solid at the base than at the top. Unlike families of more traditional typographical fonts, the Dyslexie is very asymmetric. Instead of keeping the letters in a uniform size, some have longer "sticks" that help them stand out more in the words.

Video: Bad typography has ruined more than just the Oscars (November 2019).