Hard To Read Fonts Can Make Text Easier To Remember

Hard To Read Fonts Can Make Text Easier To Remember

Laugh all you want at Comic Sans, Gothic and other not-so-hot fonts, but they might just help you nail down the next list you need to memorise. At least that’s what’s suggested by a study of remembering differently styled text.

Image via Mykl Roventine.

In two different studies, one among 28 college subjects and another run on more than 200 grade school students, researchers found that harder to read fonts seemed to aid in recall. By providing made-up stories and facts about things like aliens, using fonts such as Haettenschweiler, Monotype Corsiva, and Comic Sans Italicised, they saw more subjects recall details and information than in test groups.

The implications are small-scale, and experts warn in the BBC write-up that more research is needed before a practical application should be considered—your children won’t grow up reading history books in Papyrus just yet. But on a personal level, consider whether a funkier font might force you to slow down, give more attention to each word, and force your brain to expand its biological RAM a bit.

Making things hard to read ‘can boost learning’ [BBC News]


  • As for memorising fonts. . .
    Every sign I read, whether on shops or trucks or tv or whatever, I try to name the font. Dealing with so many different fonts each day its a good way to keep up to scratch.

  • I’ve always thought that, whatever its faults, Comic Sans was highly legible. Comparing 16-point pure black Ariel to 12-point Comic Sans 75% greyscale gives a false impression.

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