Christian Boer designs typeface for readers with dyslexia

Letters that usually appear similar are subtly italicised and have added tails where possible, so they no longer look alike and pose less risk of the reader mirroring them. “Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating ‘twin letters’ for people with dyslexia.”
Click for larger imageThe 26 letters in the Roman alphabet are commonly derived from a set of vertical, horizontal, diagonal and rounded strokes. Istanbul Design Biennial 2014: a typeface created specifically for dyslexic people by Dutch designer Christian Boer is on show at this year’s Istanbul Design Biennial (+ slideshow). For example in Swiss typeface Helvetica, the letter “n” is used upside down as a “u”, “d” is a back to front “b”, and “q” is a mirrored “p”. Dyslexia is estimated to affect 10 per cent of the world’s population, according to UK charity Dyslexia Action. Related story: The Average Font combines hundreds of characters into a single typeface”When they’re reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds,” said Boer, who is dyslexic himself. Boer has also added larger spaces between letters and words, as well as bold capitals and punctuation marks so the start and end of sentences can be better differentiated. This means the letters become more similar, making it harder for dyslexics to distinguish between them. In Boer’s typeface, the letters are designed with heavier bottom portions to prevent the reader’s mind from turning them upside down. Although it looks like a traditional typeface, Dyslexie by Christian Boer is designed specifically for people with dyslexia – a neurological disorder that causes a disconnect between language and visual processing making it difficult for the brain to process text. Lengthened ascenders and descenders – the portions of the characters that stretch beyond the two main horizontal guides – also makes them easier to tell apart.

Updated: 11.11.2014 — 09:10