Talon - dyslexic-friendly?

vectorist's picture

This is my first attempt at properly developing a typeface so I warn you now it will probably look a bit crude. It's still in FreeHand at the moment while I read up on Fontographer.

I started off trying to make a more readable alternative to display typefaces like Sharp. I then amended the idea to include designing for dyslexics (avoiding the double-storey 'a', making the 'a', 'e' and 'o' very different and making 'b'/'d' and 'p'/'q' characters that don't mirror each other). This was sparked by articles in Creative Review on alternatives to Comic Sans that are readable for dyslexics (like Lexia - www.k-type.com) and the Read Regular font by Natascha Frensch (www.readregular.com).

I realise the ascenders of my typeface may not be tall enough for dyslexics but wanted to get some feedback anyway. I especially wanted to know if there's anything similar to this already out there?

application/pdfTalon specimen
talon_draft3.pdf (9.6 k)

hrant's picture

I think that design for dyslexia is quite interesting, and that this design can become interesting, but the two don't mix, basically because this is very firmly in the display realm, and dyslexia is about reading.

You can use science (or at least analysis) to make any font more legible or readable, but I think if you want to focus on such a singular "disorder" a texty design would have to to be the target.

(That took about 2 minutes - not too bad a redistribution of
time/efficiency if it might end up saving Derek a few hours, eh?)


Forrest L Norvell's picture

I agree with Hrant; this is like an expanded ultra-black, and would not work at all in a text setting. It wouldn't even be that legible in a display setting, although I suppose it would be more legible than usual for dyslexics. This might be interesting if you treat it as a blackweight alternative to a much lighter regular textface, but if readability is your goal, you're probably going to need to play with serifs of some kind as well.

On another note, has Natascha ever released Read Regular? It's a neat idea, and someday I'd like to actually play with it.

vectorist's picture

I take both your points. I think because I started this as a display face then thought about dyslexic issues later it will always be a secondary thing, not the main reason behind the design. I was going to take the dyslexia part out of the title of this post (and attach a proper PDF!) but didn't know how.

I have started a sans serif face much more aimed at helping dyslexics so I think I will put those efforts into that design instead. Is it worth doing more work on this typeface or are there already faces like this available?

(PS: Read Regular still doesn't seem to be commercially available, unfortunately.)

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