Does the font affect how much you remember of the read text? Apparently yes, and a group of researchers created a font specifically to maximise this memory.
Developed by researchers and designers specialised in typography and behavioral science, Sans Forgetica is a new font designed to help those who read, better remember information. The trick? It forces us to dedicate a little more time to each word.
The design of Sans Forgetica is based on a font called Albion, but with substantial changes to reduce familiarity and achieve the goal of involving the brain more and helping the reader to retain more information. It was developed by scientists at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, who believe it can help students study better.
“We believe this is the first time that specific principles of design theory have been combined with specific principles of psychological theory to create a type of character, ” said researcher Jo Peryman.
Apparently, if the characters are too “familiar”, the reader often looks at them without the brain creating any memory of what has been read. At the same time, if a font is too bizarre, the brain must struggle too much to decipher it, neglecting the conservation of information. According to its developers, “Sans Forgetica is in an optimal position where only enough obstruction was added to create that memory“. The changes force readers to spend more time, but not too much time, to read every word, allowing the brain to engage in deeper cognitive processing.
An experiment involved 96 participants recalling pairs of words presented in three different fonts. The participants recalled 69 percent of the word pairs written in Sans Forgetica, compared to 61 percent of the other characters. In a different experiment, 303 students simulated a multiple-choice test, and each time the text was presented in Sans Forgetica, they recalled 57 percent of the text, compared to only 50 percent of the surrounding text written in the Arial font.
Of course, the difference does not make miracle cry out, but it still seems a potentially useful tool.