A team of researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) has developed a new font which helps to improve the memory of the person. The project was worked on by students of various departments. The graphics students worked with psychologists and researchers developed the font called Sans Forgetica. It is considered to be the first typeface in the world which is formed to work as a tool to stimulate memory. The font was developed to help people remember what they read, and the best part is that the university has made it available free of cost.
Stephen Banham, an RMIT lecturer in typography and industry leader, said that the project was a great example of cross-disciplinary success. He said, “This cross-pollination of thinking has led to the creation of a new font that is fundamentally different from all other fonts. It is also a clear application of theory into practice, something we strive for at RMIT.” The font will act as a new tool for the students who are studying for exams. Dr. Joe Perryman, RMIT Behavioral Business Lab, and behavioral economist said, “We believe this is the first time that specific principles of design theory have been combined with specific principles of psychology theory to create a font.”
The font uses a learning principle called ‘desirable difficulty’ which means that a certain level of difficulty is added to a learning task so that enough effort is made to complete it. This learning is considered to promote deeper cognitive processing. The font developers wanted to develop a font which was slightly unusual. Dr. Janneke Blijlevens, senior marketing lecturer and founding member of the RMIT Behavioral Business lab, said, “Readers often glance over them, and no memory trace is created.” Making the font too crazy or different from the normal will make it hard for the brain to read and remember. Blijlevens said, “Sans Forgetica lies at a sweet spot where just enough obstruction has been added to create that memory retention.”
The unique features of the font include a slope to the left and small gaps between the letter formation. Nearly 400 students participated in the online experiments and labs that tested which font will lead to the best memory retention. The results showed that people who were reading texts in Sans Forgetica were able to recall 57% of the content as compared to learning in common fonts like Arial which results in 50% retention.