For those who don’t suffer from dyslexia, it can be a difficult disorder to understand.
“People who don’t have dyslexia get very frustrated,” graphic designer Christian Boer told Digital Trends. “They say, ‘Don’t you see the mistake you’ve made?’ The answer is that, no, we don’t see it. If we could see it, we wouldn’t make the error.”
As a dyslexia sufferer, Boer has set out to make things easier for people like him. The brains behind the Dyslexie font, he’s created a typeface specifically for improving the reading skills of people who have trouble reading.
The letters are designed to make it difficult for people’s brains to flip or twist them while reading, using letter weights which are bolder at the base, and with larger capital letters and bigger spaces between words.
“If you suffer from dyslexia it takes 5x the energy to read something,” Boer continued. “Trying to do this for everything from road signs and packaging to long articles online — it’s exhausting! Initially this project was designed to help me. I was my own test group. But as I worked on it I found out that more and more people had dyslexia. It’s gone from being something to help myself to a worldwide project to help everyone who needs it.”
At present, the font is available for users to download to their Macs or PCs. However, a current Kickstarter campaign seeks to add more tools to the toolbox with a PDF converter for changing any document typeface into the Dyslexie font, as well as a web browser extension to do the same for online articles.
The campaign is looking to raise 35,000 euros ($38,000). With 34 days to go, it still needs to raise a fair amount of money, although Boer hopes it will find support from the audience who need it most.
“Every day we get really good feedback from people,” he said. “Sometimes these are people who dropped out of school completely, who are now going back and are using our typeface to start learning again. In some cases, we hear from people who are even reading in their spare time — when that’s something they never would have dreamed of before. We really hope our Kickstarter project will help take this mission to the next level.”