Are bad fonts are easier to remember?

Adien Gunarta's picture

Are bad fonts are easier to remember?

I have read some news in BBC and other news programs, that bad fonts/ugly fonts are more memorable.

All school book commonly use Times, Georgia, and other serif font, they are good font. Are bad fonts can improve studying quality for student?



Justin_Ch's picture

It might have been about them being easier to recognise again but I doubt it was about them making the information itself more memorable.

quadibloc's picture

On this topic, given the theory that if students have to work a little to read their textbooks, then they will spend more time on their words, and, lingering there, remember them better...

If someone, who understands only English, or some other language written with the Latin script, looks on a book written in Chinese or in the Ethiopic script or some other writing system which looks exotic from that perspective...

there is the possibility of entertaining the fancy that such a book contains within it profound secrets and mysteries. Rather than simply being an ordinary book like all the other ordinary books.

And, therefore, I have toyed with the idea (one could go to the Korean writing system for inspiration) of devising an alternate representation for the English language, which could be learned with less difficulty than learning either another language or a large repertoire of symbols (such as Blisssymbols) for making English-language texts look profound and mysterious.

Applications might include text in backgrounds in comic strips - i.e. text on an alien monolith could contain hidden jokes, because it's "really" in English instead of in the alien language it purports to be. Think of the Interlac alphabet used in the Legion of Super-Heroes comic...

Té Rowan's picture

Don't forget Star Wars' Aurabesh.

eliason's picture

@quadibloc: Pokémon Unowns

Nick Shinn's picture

Is bad science more newsworthy?

Té Rowan's picture

It creates better soundbites. "Yellowstone's gunna blow" makes a better-selling headline than "Yellowstone's gunna blow in ten thousand years".

quadibloc's picture

I saw that one. The news story noted that, hey, it could happen sometime in the next million years. And so people wondered why the headline. But if one looked into the real details, there was a reason to think there was some real chance of it happening soon - of course, if it didn't, than it might happen instead quite far in the future.

So the news story was garbled; the scientist involved had noted a real issue, and he wasn't the one sensationalizing.

Also, there are several fonts of the general kind alluded to above here, a site I discovered thanks to the use of their fonts for the Hello Cthulhu webcomic.

pica pusher's picture

The study I remember reading concluded that information presented in harder-to-read fonts was easier to remember.

But the information presented in each font was brief. The time it took to read the control (Arial) versus the time it took to read the "disfluent" sample (i.e. italicized, slightly smaller, Comic Sans or suchlike), for someone who was already a reader, couldn't have diverged by more than a fraction of a second.

What they measured was not "disfluency," it was emphasis. As designers, we know that type in black-on-white 14pt Arial with not much space around it says (to paraphrase Stefan Sagmeister) "I am going to bore the shit out of you." Pretty much anything else, italicized, with proportionally more space around it, in comparison says "read me and pay attention."

quadibloc's picture

I think that we can at least hope that this particular research will not lead, say, to a revival of Fraktur for selected passages in school textbooks.

The reason, though, unfortunately, will be that schoolteachers and school administrators will recognize that the chief problem is not to get the children to read their textbooks more slowly, to absorb the information therein... but rather to get them to look at them at all. Hence, this is a technique only applicable if one has a disciplined and motivated student population.

And, given that those students who have "Tiger Mothers" might not have English as a first language, there are even other issues that might have to be considered. Disfluent text could be considered discriminatory, after all.

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