Sans forgetica is a variation of a sans-serif typeface, designed to assist students in retaining the information which they read. Back-slanted and with gaps in the letter forms, the typeface is designed to reduce legibility; it adds reading complexity to learning tasks based on the psychological principle known as desirable difficulty. Such added complexity may help learners with their reading comprehension and interpretation of information.
The Sans Forgetica font was developed by RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia in 2018, and is claimed to be specifically designed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists to help people better recall material they have read. It has features of both Geometric and Humanist typefaces, in the traditions of the International Typographic Style and resembles an obscured and disjointed form of a typeface such as Futura.
Readers are believed to scan traditional fonts without difficulty, using their memory of reading skills. Omitting parts of the font requires the reader to pause and process information more slowly, thus provoking additional cognitive processing in the brain that may enhance the readers' eventual understanding of a text.
Conversely text in an unfamiliar font that is very difficult to read may be counter productive, and so the designers claim to have found an ideal balance between these two extremes that has proved effective with (about 400) students who took part in the development process.
The font has been produced for the Latin alphabet. Sans Forgetica is supplied free of charge as an OpenType font file and also available as an extension to the Chrome browser, which produces on-screen text which is intended to have optimal retrieval difficulty.
The downloadable zip file includes an open type file (SansForgetica-Regular.otf) compatible with most operating systems including Microsoft Windows, macOS and Linux (via Font-viewer/install). There is also as a brief explanation of the development process (The story of Sans Forgetica.pdf) which was the main source for this article.
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