If any of you Helvetica lovers, Times New Roman die-hards, or Cambria fans are looking for a substitute for that go-to font, perhaps you'd like to try one that's both new and useful — a font created to make reading easier for those with dyslexia. The free typeface, called Dyslexie, comes from designer Christian Boer, who is dyslexic himself. The project is now a part of this year's Istanbul Design Biennial.
Dyslexia affects about 10% of the population worldwide. As a learning disorder based in (sometimes inherited) neurological traits, dyslexia has nothing to do with intelligence or hearing. But, those with the disorder may unconsciously flip or mirror letters in their minds, making it difficult to read written words.
So, Boer designed Dyslexie to prevent this from happening. The font's letters are heavier on the bottom, in order to prevent the reader's mind from turning them upside down. And, letters that look similar are slightly italicized to help readers tell them apart. Letters and words are also spaced further apart, so it's easier to read each one on its own.
But, Dyslexie isn't the only (free) font out there specifically aimed at helping dyslexic people read. OpenDyslexic and Lexia Readable are also free to download, and there are plenty more options here. Generally, sans-serif fonts (those without the tails on letters) are preferred by dyslexic folks; those extra flourishes can obscure the letter's shape. So, here's hoping Bella Thorne never has to read a script in Garamond again.