Free Font Friday: Sans Forgetica
by Jill Meyer | April 19, 2019
What was that awesome quote I read yesterday? What did I just read on that last page of my novel? If I could just remember my lines!
Are these conversations you often have in your own head? If they are, there is a new font that could assist in your memory retention. From Australia’s RMIT, comes a new font created by a team of scientists and designers that help people creatively improve their memory skills. Just as I mentioned in a previous article about people remembering your information easier when it is delivered in an emotional story format, so does the brain activate multiple areas in order to read something that is written with gaps and disconnectivity. They call this “desirable difficulty”. Sans Forgetica is deliberately harder to read, but research shows a higher rate of retention when reading this sans serif font.
Our brains like to make sense and order out of what they are seeing and processing. Have you ever felt clever acing those tests seen on social media? The games that taunt you to keep up with your friends by seeing the wrong letter or missing number as quickly as possible, then reposting your score. Similarly, this font has missing areas which require our brains to fill in the blanks, stimulating deeper cognitive activity. The font also leans to the left by eight degrees. This is counter intuitive. We are used to, if anything, a font leaning to the right as an italic. This added difficulty also heightens our concentration.
Researchers took 400 students and had them memorize a passage. The students were able to memorize 17% faster studying the passage written in Sans Forgetica rather than in an Arial font. Many people are now using this font in school and academia environments to boost learning. The design team balanced the reading difficulty; finding the ‘sweet’ spot. They confessed that, adding varied heights and weights to the mix would have then become too hard to read and memory retention would have slid in the opposite direction.
This font is free to download for personal use. It is great for typing your notes in class or the speech and script you need to memorize! Remember Sans!
Jill Meyer is the Managing Editor of Notes on Design. A Scottsdale, Arizona resident, Jill is an artist, decorative painter, interior designer, and writer.