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Forget me not: a font that aids memory

Australian scientists develop Sans Forgetica – a typeface that helps people remember what they read

22 Oct 2018 by Selina Powell

Researchers from RMIT University in Australia have developed a new typeface to assist with memory.

The font, named Sans Forgetica, was created through a collaboration between typographic design specialists and psychologists.

The typeface draws from the principle of ‘desirable difficulty.’

Dr Janneke Blijlevens, of RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab, highlighted that typical fonts are very familiar so readers glance over them, without creating a memory trace.

“Sans Forgetica lies at a sweet spot where just enough obstruction has been added to create that memory retention,” Dr Blijlevens explained.

In order to develop the font, around 400 Australian university students were recruited to an online and laboratory experiment conducted by RMIT.

Typefaces with a range of obstructions were tested by students to determine which led to the best recall. 

Dr Jo Peryman, also from the RMIT Behavioural Business Lab, said that the font was a good tool for students studying for exams.

“We believe this is the first time that specific principles of design theory have been combined with specific principles of psychology theory in order to create a font.”

The typeface is available to download as a font and Chrome browser extension. 

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