By Jamie Richardson
What is Dyslexie?
Dyslexie is a font designed by graphic designer Christian Boer to help people with dyslexia. Rather than the letters being crowded and often similar in form, Dyslexie spaces the letters out more and gives each a unique shape so the reader recognizes the letter more readily.
Where is Dyslexie being used?
You Can’t Drink a Meatball Through a Straw, the book reviewed in this issue of Dyslexia Connection, is the seventh book in which Penguin has used the Dyslexie font. Senior Art Director Giuseppe Castellano said, “When we develop the visual identity of any children’s book, the typeface must match the tone and substance of the story. It’s a subtle, often-overlooked, yet important, component of a book. In the case of chapter books, the typeface must be legible, with just the right amount of personality. With that in mind, Dyslexie was the right fit.”
What do parents think?
Penguin has received positive feedback from parents. In fact Castello said, “The feedback from parents has been incredible! And as a parent, I join them. My son doesn’t live with dyslexia, but he was a bit of a reluctant reader. Here’s Hank: Bookmarks Are People Too! was the first chapter book he read from cover to cover—and he’s been reading ever since. I’ll leave you with this quote from a parent who says that Here’s Hank is ‘Bringing reading to life for my youngest with dyslexia.’”
What does the research suggest about Dyslexie?
Dr. Guinevere Eden, professor in the department of pediatrics and director of the Center for the Study of Learning (CSL) at Georgetown University Medical Center, warns that while the spacing and shaping of the letters may be beneficial to some readers, there simply has not been enough testing and research done. “The absence of peer-reviewed studies for dyslexia fonts means that this fundamental first step has not yet occurred.”
Should parents start using Dyslexie at home?
“Some people prefer certain fonts over others. Some people find the shapes of letters in certain fonts to be more appealing and easier to read,” Eden said, “The reason why spacing might affect reading has to do with how the presence of some objects (including letters) interferes with our ability to see some aspects of what we are viewing. This is referred to as crowding. It has been suggested that crowding occurs more in people who have dyslexia. It has also been suggested that reading text with greater spacing between letters improves reading ability in people with dyslexia.”
There are many tools, including Dyslexie, that can help students with dyslexia, but as previously published by IDA, “it’s important to remember, for those who have dyslexia there are no quick fixes and switching fonts is not a substitute for a Structured Literacy approach to reading instruction.”
Want more information about Dyslexie?
Parents can find out more about the font, see samples, and download it at the Dyslexie website.
Jamie Richardson is a Content Editor for Dyslexia Connection, a freelance writer and editor, and a homeschool mom to three kids.
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