TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Mon Aug 31 20:31:06 EDT 2015






Typefaces for dyslexics

[The Heinemann Roman typeface was designed at Heinemann Publishing for use in early primary reading books and literacy products]


Abelardo Gonzalez

New Hampshire or Spain-based dyslexic creator of Open Dyslexic (2011), a free font specially designed for dyslexia, developed on the basis of Bitstream Vera Sans.

Leo Kelion writes for the BBC: The OpenDyslexic font is designed to give "gravity" to letters to prevent the characters rotating in readers' minds.

Free download.

Other type designs by Gonzalez include Eulexia and Alpha Symbolic (a "dyslexic notation" typeface that uses symmetric symbols to reduce confusion in the alphabet).

Dafont link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alastair Montgomery

Ph.D. student at the University of Reading. Thesis topic: The role typography plays in developing symbol imagery skills for literacy in children with dyslexia. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Alejandro Valdéz Sanabria

[More]  ⦿

Alex Reyes

Alex Reyes created Modular Font (2014, circle-based) and Dyslexia (2014). Dyslexia is not---as the name might suggest--a font to aid dyslexic readers. Instead, it is a typeface that emulates how dyslexics perceive letters. [Google] [More]  ⦿

André Génard

Belgian artist, b. 1954, Antwerpen. The DITT writes this about him: AndrĂ© is an adult dyslexic. At Bridges 2009, he presented an experimental typeface on which he had been working since 1975, under the title Zen Art. In 2007, he created another experimental geometric face, Alphabet Candy. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Charlotte Travaillé

Parisian designer of the thin condensed high-contrast typeface Lunatique (2013) and the display typefaces Sedegren (2014) and Dyslexia (2014). Behance link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Chris Corbett

[More]  ⦿

Christiaan Theo Boer

[More]  ⦿

Codesign (or: Aviation Partners, or AVP)
[Nicholas Garner]

Nicholas Garner (b. 1949, Windsor) runs Codesign (or: Aviation Partners), a small London-based design firm which has created these commercial type families:

  • Cerafino (2005): informal sans.
  • Delamere (2005): more classical sans.
  • Kensington (2005): titling sans related to Gill Sans.
  • Maisee (2005): an open, wide, generous and broadly smiling sans family.
  • Tenison (2005): connected formal script.
  • Fiendstar (2006, 16 styles; +Cameo (white on black), +Shaded) (after Gill Sans Schoolbook).
  • Rosie (2010): a connected cosy script, in the Mistral style.
  • Norwich (2006): a grungy version of Tenison. Outrage (2006) is more grunge.
  • Cashback (2006).
  • Crystal (2006): a slab serif family.
  • Autobahn (2011) is a monoline elliptical sans family. Garner writes: Autobahn is a robust masculine sans of near monoline thickness and angular characteristics. Autocode (2011) is a monoline monospaced (for programs) elliptical sans based on Autobahn.
  • LaCarte (2007): inspired by a series of handwritten menus produced in 1980. Further extended to La Carte Pen in 2010.
  • Midas (2007).
  • Sky Sans (including hairline weights) (2007).
  • Lamoreli (2007).
  • Backstage (2007). A stencil face.
  • Amy (2010). Nicely hand-printed.
  • Atria (2010) An ink-trapped sans-serif.
  • Blocksta (2010). A rounded fat sans.
  • The elegant script typeface Jacqueline (2010).
  • New Fiendstar (2010).
  • Omniscript (2010).
  • Cambridge (2010). An elegant sans family with a misbehaving lower case q. Accompanied by a Cambridge Round family. It is designed as a schoolbook font, and is useful for dyslexics, since there are no ambiguities between letterforms.
  • Central (2011). A rounded geometric sans family. Followed in 2012 by Central Inline.
  • Combi (2011). This is a wonderful effort, as described by Garner himself: The Combi collection includes Sans, Sans Oblique, a true Italic, Serif, Serif Oblique and a set of Openface capitals. Combi fonts have 5 compatible weights and metrics allowing them to be used in free combination. Inspiration came from Jan Van Krimpen's Romulus (Enschedé, 1931). In addition to the Roman style, Van Krimpen created a set of open capitals, a simple oblique variant and subsequently, an attractive calligraphic italic, Cancelleresca Bastarda. In addition to Van Krimpen's idea, Combi has been influenced by features from many faces including Bembo, Melior and Optima. The object was to create a versatile family of body text and titling faces for use in books, magazines and on the web.

    Polaris (2012) is a rounded sans family that reads well in print and on screens.

    Mensa (2012) is a 36-weight large x-height sans body family.

  • Beaulieu (2012).
  • Clocktime (2012). A dingbat font with clocks.
  • Chokey Pro (2012). A tall connected script face.
  • Alleyn (2013), a soft geometric sans family.
  • Corsica (2013). Corsica is an all-purpose geometric sans-serif typeface of visually uniform stroke thickness. The family contains six weights, two widths and three lowercase size options, together with an italic variant for each.
  • Intrinseca (2014). An incised sans with some contrast and flaring, but still quite readable thanks to a good x-height.
  • Browser Serif and Browser Sans (2014). These families were designed for use on screen.

    Arethusa (2014) and Arethusa Pro (2014) are 12-style transitional typeface families.

MyFonts site. Klingspor link.

Showcase of Nicholas Garner's typefaces. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Daniel Britton

London-based graphic designer who wants to show the world how dyslexics perceive words and letters. For that purpose, he created Dyslexia (2015), a special typeface. [Google] [More]  ⦿

David Santos

David Santos (Porto, Portugal) has a design degree from the Universidade de Aveiro, Portugal (2011) and a masters degree in graphic design from the Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto (2013), where he researched typefaces for dyslexics. In his type design class at FBAUP, he codesigned a decorative caps typeface with Francisca Paiva, Maria Branco and Margarida Basto in 2013. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dyslexia: Article by Albert-Jan Pool

Albert-Jan Pool discusses the lack of scientific research that went into specially designed typefaces such as Dyslexie, Open Dyslectic, and Sylexiad. He supports well-tested experiments that compare many typefaces in controlled tests. In particular, he points out the work in the Ph.D. dissertation of Ann Bessemans at the University of Leiden, who (in Albert-Jan's words) scientifically tested modified versions of Frutiger and DTL Documenta that were distorted in ways that are similar to those in Dyslexia [the typeface] against the non-distorted versions of these typefaces. It was proved that none of this kind of distortions were of any help. The only kind of distortion that seems to help is one in which she changed the horizontal proportions by widening and narrowing some of the characters. But this was only of help for children who are beginning to read, it did not seem to be of any help for children with more reading experience. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Dyslexia: Reference articles

A list of articles discussing the pros and cons of certain typefaces for dyslexics:

  • Thomas Bohm in Baseline: Letter and symbol misrecognition in highly legible typefaces for general, children, dyslexic, visually impaired and ageing readers.
  • Sue Walker: Typography in Children's Books.
  • Thomas Phinney in Communication Arts: Should Dyslexics Unite on a Typeface? Recent typefaces for (and by) dyslexics and the science around them. See also here.
  • Typophile discussion from 2005: Type for kids.
  • Ann Bessemans: Type Design for Children with Low Vision (2012, PhD dissertaion, University of Leiden). This thhesis was jointly supervised by Gerard Unger in Leiden, and Bert Willems at Hasselt University.
  • Robert Hillier: A Typeface for the Adult Dyslexic Reader (2006, Ph.D. thesis).
[Google] [More]  ⦿

Dyslexica Font Foundry
[Robert Goodman]

Typefoundry in Covington, GA, est. 2013. The goals of the foundry are to provide quality fonts and to develop dyslexic friendly font families and variations.

Fonts from 2013 include Perkly (a rounded geometric stackable sans family). [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

[Sue Walker]

The Fabula typeface was originally designed as a screen font as part of a project that produced software to enable children and teachers to produce bilingual story books. Since then, changes have been made to its design and it is now, additionally, a font suitable for titling and text setting in large sizes. Fabula was designed by a team led by Sue Walker that included Conrad Taylor, Vincent Connare, Gerry Leonidas and José Scaglione.

Sue writes: It has been used in a series of tests designed to find out what children in year 2 think about typefaces in the books they read. They descibed Fabula as 'clear, so you can see it properly'; 'normal'; 'like an ordinary book'.

Stylistically, Fabula has long ascenders and descenders (to help identify the word shapes), an informal feel, rounded terminals, a rounded e, a clear distinction between characters that might be easily confused, such as the (a, o) pair and the (l, 1) pair.

Fabula 1 has a double storey a. Fabula 2 has a single storey a. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Faruk Ate
[Serif vs sans serif]

[More]  ⦿


Foundry whose fonts are sold via Fontworks UK, who write: The Heinemann fonts were initially developed by the in-house design team at Heinemann educational publishing out of the necessity to find the perfect font for use in early primary reading books and literacy products. Basic Heinemann is defined by longer ascenders and descenders which help children to distinguish between letters; rounded edges on all letterforms help focus the reader on the individual letter shape; and modified characters (e.g., a, g) ensure instant recognition of letterforms. Heinemann Special offers further modified characters and kerning pairs ideal for dyslexic or special needs use (eg a, d, b). The Heinemann fonts were developed in partnership with children, literacy advisors, teachers of special needs/dyslexia and primary school teachers, and are now released in response to hundreds of requests from publishers, designers and teachers to purchase them. They have been trialled in schools and learning institutions over an 8 year period, and are a favourite for use in both print and electronic product. Heinemann is a 12-style sans family. [Google] [MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Infant characters

Infant characters include simple versions of characters, such as the single storey "a" and "g". They seem to be helpful for beginning readers. There is no strong evidence that they are to be preferred over standard forms of these characters for readers that have difficulties. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Alejandro Valdéz Sanabria]

Alejandro Valdéz's web site and blog, in Spanish, from Asuncion, Paraguay. Sarakanda is a typeface he made for dyslexics. Arguing in terms of bouma (word outlines), the font was developed to create bouncy and individualistic boumas by working on the ends of the ascenders and descenders. His script typeface López won an award at Tipos Latinos 2010.

His [old] bibliography on typography and dyslexia [dead URL]. FADU-UBA link. Old URL. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Jessica Frankland

London-based designer of the free sans typeface Askew (2014), which was designed for dyslexics duiring her studies at Chelsea College of Art. Behance link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Josep Drdic

During his studies in Zagrebacka Dubrava, Croatia, Josep Drdic created an experimental typeface called Dyslexia (2013). He also created the decoartive typeface Sea (2013). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Kanny Yeung

Over 600 million people in the world are dyslexic. Kanny Yeung (New York City) started a typography project in 2012 to address two types of Dyslexia. Kanny introduced an alphabet that has very different glyphs, and is remotely related to Latin.

In 2014, she made the organic typeface Kanny Sans. Behance link. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Kate Butcher

Kate Butcher is from Cape Town, south Africa. She created the font Dyslexia (2011) which is intended to make non-dyslexic people read like dyslexic folk. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Mauro Abbattista

Mauro's graduation thesis in Rome was about the development of the Sady typeface, wg=here Sady stands for Sabon Dyslexic. He took Tschichold's Sabon and broke the smooth Beziers up to increase the angular aspect of each glyph. In addition, attention was paid to the spacing and global word shapes (or Boumas). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Natasha Frensch

Designer of Read Regular, a typeface family designed for dyslexic people. Frensch, a dyslexic herself, is associated with the Royal College of Art and Design in London. See also here. The Dutch publishing house Zwijsen adopted Read Regular for its children's books and school texts. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Nicholas Garner
[Codesign (or: Aviation Partners, or AVP)]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Parker Jones

Parker Jones (Dallas, TX) designed the dyslexia-awareness typeface Monsters in 2015. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Chris Corbett]

Teesside, UK-based designer of the pay fonts Mono Dyslexic (2011) and Gill Dyslexic (2011). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Rachele Lo Piano

Italian designer of Leggimi (2008), a readable font in which confusion is minimized. It was made for dyslexics. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Renske de Leeuw

Dutch researcher whose Masters thesis at the University of Twente in 2010 is entitled Special fonts for Dyslexia?. She compared Christiaan de Boer's Dyslexie typeface with Arial. Two of her followers wrote theses on similar subjects, Tineke Pijpker (2013, University of Twente)'s Dyslexie letters en kleurcontrast, and Liane van Someren (2014, University of Amsterdam)'s Aanwijzingen waarom dyslectici meer accuraat lezen met het lettertype Dyslexie. All three theses are refuted by typographic journalist Henk Gianotten in Dyslexie, letters en dwalingen (2014, De Boekenwereld, vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 92-93). Gianotten points out that Arial's x-height exceeds that of Dyslexie, contradicting de Leeuw's claim. He also complains about the lack of a scientific method. In Gianotten's view, three key things are needed for readability---larger letters, more spacing between letters, and more interline space. For dyslexics, he also recommends using columns not more than nine words wide. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Rica Dujon

Rica Dujon, a graphic designer in Singapore, created the sans typeface Lexis in 2013. It was based on the analysis of a dyslexic child's handwriting. Lexis Regular is a font specially designed to help dyslexic individuals better see, read and process words and information. Lexis was a school project at the Lasalle College of the Arts. The user-testings were conducted in partnership with the Dyslexia Association of Singapore. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Robert Goodman
[Dyslexica Font Foundry]

[MyFonts] [More]  ⦿

Robert Hillier
[Robs Fonts]

[More]  ⦿

Robs Fonts
[Robert Hillier]

Dr. Robert Hillier is a Senior Lecturer at Norwich University College of the Arts in the UK. He designed and developed the Sylexiad range of fonts for adult dyslexic readers as part of his doctoral research. He has presented his research findings at design institutions and conferences, including the St.Bride Library Conference Fast Type Slow Type, Birmingham (2006). Sylexiad has been featured in publications including, Novum, Etapes, Ultrabold and the Journal of Writing in Creative Practice. Thesis in 2006 entitled A Typeface for the Adult Dyslexic Reader. Speaker at ATypI 2011 in Reykjavik, where we read this: The findings of developmental typeface testing identified the typographic characteristics adult dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers preferred and why. For the majority of non-dyslexic readers tested it was the combination of serif-style, lowercase forms, large x-heights, medium weight, variable strokes and normal inter-word spacing that was preferred. The non-dyslexic readers also favoured the form of Times New Roman. Conversely, for the majority of dyslexic readers tested it was the combination of handwritten style, uppercase forms, long ascenders and descenders, light weight, uniform strokes, perpendicular design and generous inter-word spacing that was preferred. The dyslexic readers also favoured the form of Serif Sylexiad.

Other typefaces by Hillier: Dine (an experimental interactive font) and CIRCS (experimental display font). [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sally Castle

Type design student at Reading who created Grover (2004), a serif-sans-casual family specially designed for dyslexic people. Grover is Sally's maiden name. Sally also made the 3d typeface Blockup. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Serif vs sans serif
[Faruk Ate]

Faruk Ate discusses this old dilemma. Serif is more legible in print, but less so on screen. Serif is better for dyslexics though, as there is less confusion. At small screen size, sans serif is recommended. He concludes: Personally, I still prefer sans-serif for large chunks of text with a lovely serif heading. [Google] [More]  ⦿

[Christiaan Theo Boer]

Studiostudio (The Netherlands) developed a commercial casual typeface called Dyslexie (2008) to minimize the errors perceived by dyslexics. Created by Christian Theo Boer (b. 1981; located in Zeist), the research was carried out at the University of Twente. In a research article about Dyslexie, Judith van de Vrugt writes: Dyslexia>... it is a word that many dyslexics find hard to pronounce. Christian Boer is one of them. Being a dyslexic student, he came upon the idea for his thesis to design a font that would make letters more distinguishable for someone with dyslexia. Due to the visible distinc- tion, it would be easier to read, and letters would dance less. The Dyslexie font is commercial, but a free trial version is available. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Sue Walker

[More]  ⦿

Tom Besters

Designer at Typolis in Antwerpen, Belgium, where he designed the grunge font Dyslexic. Tom lives in Borsbeek. [Google] [More]  ⦿

Victor Gomez

Based in Bogota, Colombia, Victor Gomez developed Dixia (2013), a simple riound sans script that is geared towards children, both dyslexic and non-dyslexic. Behance link. [Google] [More]  ⦿