A few subtle tweaks to a letter's shape can make a world of difference to some readers.
By creating a new typeface with slight but impactful changes, Dutch designer Christian Boer is making reading an easier task for those, like himself, who live with dyslexia. Letters of the Dyslexie font have heavy base lines, alternating stick and tail lengths and semicursive slants -- all modifications that differentiate letters that can look confusingly similar to those with the condition.
"When they're reading, people with dyslexia often unconsciously switch, rotate and mirror letters in their minds," Boer told Dezeen magazine on Nov. 9. "Traditional typefaces make this worse, because they base some letter designs on others, inadvertently creating 'twin letters' for people with dyslexia."
As explained by the video posted above by Dyslexie, although a "b" and a "q" are different letters, they mirror a "p" and "d" when placed next to one another -- a sight that could challenge someone with dyslexia.
But by simply bolding the bottom of certain letters, as is the case with Dyslexie, a "b" becomes more obviously a "b."
Dyslexia is "often overlooked when searching for causes of illiteracy," according to the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity. The organization says dyslexia is the most common reading disability, with more than one in five people struggling with the condition, yet many who live with dyslexia remain undiagnosed.
"Dyslexia crosses racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines, and with proper instruction and accommodations, it can be remediated," the Yale Center for Dyslexia & Creativity notes. "However, the diagnosis and treatment remains elusive in public schools, and even more so in urban school populations, African-American and Latino communities."
But Boer is hoping to change the status quo through his creation. Dyslexie is available for free for home use, and downloadable versions for educational and business purposes are also accessible online.
BEFORE YOU GO
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more informationTrack ballot status
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place