Do you ever find yourself having just read an entire page of a book and having retained nothing? Then you have to read back through and see that none of it sounds remotely familiar?
We’ve all been there, and it’s easy to let your mind wander when doing something as solitary as reading. It can be frustrating because we double the time that we spend reading.
Well, I have two words for you: Sans Forgetica. For my friends within a history of Latin, yes, that does translate to “without forgetting.”
Sans Forgetica is a font that has been specifically engineered to help a reader retain the information that they’re reading. Say what?!
This was developed by researchers at RMIT University Behavioral Business Lab in Melbourne. The font name is a combination between Comic Sans and Helvetica, and the way the font is designed is that each letter is titled exactly seven degrees to the left, with various gaps drawn straight down the middle.
“This is the first time ever that specific principles from psychological theory have been combined with specific principles from design theory in order to create a font,” said Jo Peryman, chair of RMIT Behavioral Business Lab.
The font operates by convincing the reader’s brain to work. Being that the font is visually unconventional, the reader has to work hard in order to decipher exactly what it is seeing.
Much like how we can decipher jumbled words if they begin and end with the right letter (e.g. rdeanig), our brains can fill in the gaps in order to tilt the letters right side up. Because of this, your brain slows down to fully comprehend what it is seeing – making it easier for the reader to retain the information.
The issue that we often run into is that reading becomes such a flex of memory rather than a comprehensive activity. But, the researchers have had to be careful about how much work the brain will have to do to read Sans Forgetica, otherwise readers will become frustrated and likely give up.
If this catches on, this could be an amazing tool to implement in an academic setting, and can also be helpful with reports and presentations. Talk about productivity!