A typeface now on display at the Istanbul Design Biennial aims to help people with dyslexia read more easily by better distinguishing between letters.
“When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,” Christian Boer, the designer of the typeface Dyslexie, told Dezeen magazine in an interview published Sunday. “Traditional typefaces make this worse because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating ‘twin letters’ for people with dyslexia.”
A typeface such as Helvetica, for example, uses an upside down “n” as a “u” and a backwards “d” as a “b.” But Boer, who is dyslexic himself, created bottom-heavy letters to keep readers’ brains from turning them. The spaces between letters are bigger, and punctuation marks and capitalized letters are also bolder to better distinguish the beginnings and ends of sentences.
Boer designed the typeface for his thesis at Utrecht Art Academy in 2010. He also shared it in a 2011 TED talk. Around 10 percent of the world is believed to be dyslexic, according to the organization Dyslexia Action.