Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I heart Design with a capital 'D'

In case you haven't seen this lastest bit of genius around the interwebs or you don't follow my every tweet (it's probably better that way), I'm obsessed with the new typeface Dyslexie.  It's a typeface for people who have Dyslexia designed by a dyslexic person.  It looks like this:
Sample text from Fast Company.  Go there to see non-shitty screencap.
Ever since I ran across this project all of my thoughts have been completely occupied with its awesomeness.  Well, most of my thoughts.  I took my first Pure Barre class that night so there was a period of time of time where I completely abandoned all rational thought and relied purely on my dumb reptilian brain just to be able to finish my set of pelvic tucks while in a deep, torturous plie.  That shit is hard.  I had to awaken the beast within.  She was cranky and sweaty and severely out of shape.  

I survived - somehow - but the majority of my thoughts over the last several days other than "ass = HURT" and "what muscle do I have in my armpit because it HURTS there?" have been about this typeface.

It's so simply genius that it takes away my armpit hurt.  I'm a bit surprised (and a little saddened) that it hasn't already been addressed before.  The reading problem not the armpit pain.

For me, Design is about problem solving but sometimes it's easy to get distracted with the less significant problems.  Deciding whether to paint my living room light champagne truffle or medium champagne truffle is a "problem" that has a design solution as soon as the right color magically reveals itself to me.  This is really a problem of privilege.  

The designer, Christian Boer, said he spent four hours working on a comma and over twelve hours on the letter 'a.'   THAT is problem solving!  That gets me so fired up I feel like Design can save the world now!  RAWWWRR!!!

Check out these diagrams from the creator's website that are problem-solving at its sexiest.

An angled tail keeps letters from being rotated/flipped as often.
Tell me more!

Sticks of some letters are longer so they won't be as easily exchanged.
I spit on you, stupid Arial.

Making letters higher, not wider, gives them more space therefore easier to recognize.
That's just good manners.

More space for each letter and word.
Don't crowd me!

Perhaps dyslexia falls on a spectrum of similar disorders because I stumbled across a real world review where the reader isn't dyslexic but identifies as a slow reader.  After reading text in Dyslexie they said "reading wasn't like walking against a headwind."   What a fantastic observation.  There are plenty of other similar comments in the notes which makes me exceedingly happy.  It is easy to forget that effortless reading - something I take completely for granted - is something that is also a privilege.  The ultimate privilege is ignorance it seems.

Personally I am a fast reader but sometimes I sacrifice comprehension for speed.  Nerd alert: a few years on the debate team in high school made this worse no doubt.  Dislexie is actually slow for me to read - somewhat obnoxiously so - but because I'm forced to slow down I feel like I retain more.    I don't think I would want to read it all the time but wouldn't it be nice to be able to change your computer/ereader settings to a default of your choice?!  Seems like it would open up the world to someone with reading difficulties.  At the very least ease a burden.

Sigh... This whole project makes me want to dance and twirl for how much I love Design.  Too bad I can't move because it hurts too much.

I can't wait for the point when Pure Barre isn't like walking against a headwind (made of pure evil) but somehow I think that's the purpose.  Dammit.


  1. I LOVE this!
    Thanks for sharing!
    It would really be great having the possibility to choose...

  2. AWESOME! Design is everything! No really... it is!

  3. I've always suspected I had a little dyslexia. When I read the text at the end of that video it was the fastest reading I have ever accomplished.

    I need to be able to change my PC font to this!

  4. That is so awesome to hear I can't stand it!!!! The entire Fast Company article has the option to be read in Dyslexie so you can see a bigger portion of text. The creator's website also has a ton of other info even about text layout that is really cool too.

    Wish this typeface could go global!!!

  5. "I spit on you, stupid Arial."

    Quote of the month ... perhaps the year.

  6. I may not design anything of consequence - ever - but at least I'll feel like I've accomplished something on my deathbed... ; )

  7. This is Wonderful!!!

    Anonymous (aka.... deb)

  8. I know right??!! Thanks Anonymous Deb! ; )

  9. The sketches obviously show the differences between this font and conventional fonts. But, I don't think the full text sample looks really different at all. I read it just like any text. I said that to Franco, to which he replied, "Maybe you're dyslexic."

    Related: a lot of times when I write by hand, I write p instead of b and vice versa. And, I really, really have to think hard about which way the diagonal line in a capital N goes.

  10. What is normal for you looks a little weird for me but works amazingly well for someone else. Your comment perfectly illustrated that everyone is wired differently - sometimes I mix up 3's and capital cursive E's and I can't tell which way is left without figuring out which way is right first - everybody has their something! Even Franco. ; )