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Dyslexie, the typeface designed for dyslexics

Dyslexia is a life-long condition which affects 10% of the population. Coming from Greek, the word 'dyslexia' actually means 'difficulty with words.'  It may affect how efficiently people are able to take in information or it may slow the speed at which people are able to process it.

The most commonly recognised problem that dyslexics have to deal with is the difficulties that they may experience when it comes to literacy. Those with dyslexia may experience visual stress when reading and the text can appear distorted and words or letters appear to move or become blurred. White paper or backgrounds can appear too dazzling and can make print even harder to decipher.

The image above is an example of what it may be like for a dyslexic when faced with trying to read a simple passage of text. But there may be help at hand after Dutch designer Christian Boer created a new typeface designed specifically with dyslexics in mind. A dyslexic himself, Boer designed the Dyslexie font to optimise the reading experience and make sure that reading no longer requires so much effort.

Rather than concentrating on making the font look nice, Boer and the small group of other dyslexics he recruited to help him in his research, focused on ensuring that the font could easily be read by dyslexia sufferers. This meant that individual letters had to be tweaked so that they did not closely resemble any other letters, which is something that makes reading difficult for dyslexics.

In this short video taken from Christian Boer's website, it explains how the letters were redesigned.

An independent study conducted by the University of Twente has confirmed the font's effectiveness and has suggested that dyslexics make fewer errors when reading texts written in the dyslexie font compared with 'normal' fonts. Whilst this breakthrough is no cure for dyslexia, it could potentially prove life changing for all those living with the disability.

Date Posted: 28 July 2011
Posted By: Stacey Sheppard

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