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New Typeface Helps You Remember What You Read — By Erasing It

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Common sense tells us that the harder you work at something, the better you will be at it. And science, once again, is finding support for what we thought to be true. In this case, a unique study finds that when our brain works harder to read or write something, the better we recall the information.

RMIT University in Australia has concluded that “When a piece of information is too easily and cleanly read, it can fail to engage our brains in the kind of deeper cognitive processing necessary for effective retention and recall.” Thus the introduction of Sans Forgetica, a typeface specifically designed to boost memory. Here’s a sample.

Sans Forgetica attempts to address what RMIT researchers refer to as a “somewhat ironic flaw of design. By disrupting the flow of individual letterforms, readers are subtly prompted to increase their focus on the text being communicated.” Basically, the more you must focus on a task, the better you are at it.

Research on reading, writing, and human memory isn’t new. Cuneiform—the first Sumerian writing system—emerged in Mesopotamia more than 5,000 years ago. Since that time, scholars have attempted to grasp how documented communication connects and affects human beings.

Neuroscientists, in particular, have attempted to understand the ways our brain encodes and recalls the things that we write and read, versus speak, hear, taste, touch, or smell. Or, more accurately, how all the senses work in tandem to remember........

© The Federalist