overviewPhD Presentation NOTES #5
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[A list of references is provided in ~Notes #20]
Typography to simulate reading speed typical in dyslexia

  • As a design student at the London School of Communications, Daniel Britton was identified with dyslexia during his final year of studies - not untypically. Britton reports his dismay at a lack of understanding and awareness of what that meant from both staff and peers alike, commenting that many dismissed him as lazy, stupid or just slow.

  • To raise awareness of how dyslexia impacts on reading speed he designed a font which, when used in print, simulates NOT the way text appears to those with dyslexia - which is very varied - but the sense of frustration experienced in the slow decoding of text into meaning.

  • The font is based on font-style Helvetica and has roughly 4o% of the typeface's lines subtracted which makes one of the otherwise most readable typefaces very difficult to decypher.

  • Britton agrees that '40%' was not particularly scientifically established, but represents a median between total unreadability and total clarity to generate text that has just enough visual information to decode, albeit with greatly increased reading times.

  • He adds that in his experience, 'awareness ads will represent text as seen by dyslexics as a bunch of blurry letters or upside-down letter forms. At least for me, that is not what it is like at all. It's more like text looks normal but the part of my brain that decodes it just isn't awake' (Britton, in Browne, 2015).