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A Typeface That Shows What It’s Like to Live with Dyslexia

By Greenfield/Belser
June 12, 2015
A Typeface That Shows What It’s Like to Live with Dyslexia

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have dyslexia? It’s hard to imagine having a disorder that slows your reading down to ten times that of the average person. However, a recent study done by the University of Michigan reports that an estimated 5-10% of the population suffers from the disorder.

Dan Britton is a graphic designer from London who can relate. According to the National Center for Learning Disabilities, dyslexia is a specific learning disability in reading, spelling and performing other skills related to the use of printed language. In order to force the reader to slow down and experience what's it's like to have disorder, he created a typeface where each letter of the alphabet is reshaped. The British Dyslexia Association used his graphics in campaigns to promote awareness about the condition.

The typeface Dan chose was Helvetica, a sans-serif font, because serif fonts are the most difficult for persons with dyslexia to process. He deleted 40 percent of each letter and number, removing their key characteristics but allowing the reader to still be able to decipher each letter. What this method does is show the reader what a person with the condition sees when they read—slowing them down and making them focus on each letter, rather than being able to skim through paragraphs. Figuring out what words each letter forms can be grueling and by reading Dan's newly developed typeface, one can experience exactly how it feels to have this condition. He hopes that the government will use the project to raise awareness about dyslexia.