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

“By changing the shape of the letters 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

Dyslexia typeface sketch
Dyslexia typeface 2015 sketch, by Riona Moore

While Dyslexia is a condition that’s yet to be included in any of my design briefs, I got thinking about it after UAL student Riona Moore sent me an email sharing her final year project — the creation of a typeface as an alternative to these:

Those two options are both free to download, and the majority of reports I’ve seen are positive. Co.Design’s John Brownlee says don’t believe the hype, but I’ve read comments on a number of sites from people with dyslexia who say the typefaces are easier to read than standard computer options. While it seems like not everyone with the condition is helped, it’s good enough for me if some people are.

A sample of Riona’s type design can be seen here. If you have (or know someone with) dyslexia, she’d love your feedback.

All the best with your project, Riona. Great subject choice.

Related elsewhere:
Typefaces for dyslexia, from the British Dyslexia Association

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May 26, 2015

Comments

Learn to design type first, THEN try to help people with dyslexia. Do it the other way round and the results will be tough for everyone.

While I love the designs above, I’ve yet to see anything in a fixed-width font. I, like a number of professionals who write code, am dyslexic, and the hardest thing for me is reading my own code. In case you don’t code, nearly all code is written in fixed width fonts, because vertical-alignment of code is often important to reading and understanding it.

Consolas seems to be the best font I’ve found so far for reading, but it’s not great, and I slow down terribly over numbers.

If you see any fonts out there that design for dyslexia in a fixed-width font I think there are a lot of people out there who would love to know.

You may not have seen it, but there was a fixed width version of the Open Dyslexic font in that font’s link above. Check that out. Your code will look like a 60s rock poster from San Francisco, but there are worse things!

I really like it. I found it very easy to read because of the spacing, and it would be so great if more people realised that it isn’t just about us not being able to read, it has to do with the way our brain works, and that something as simple as making letters different from each other and spacing them out could make it so much easier.

I will be shocked if everyone ever realises that it isn’t always the same with every dyslexic, and that people can’t just fix it by shoving different colour piece of paper in front of you for a test but instead print it in a typeface like this.

A friend of mine is dyslexic and I know he’s mentioned the issues you’ve mentioned above.
It’s interesting to see the efforts being made to combat such issues.

I 100% agree with the statement “Learn to design type first, THEN try to help people with dyslexia. Do it the other way round and the results will be tough for everyone.”

I would like to follow the progress of this and see where will implement it.

I too noticed the letter “D” was missing!

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