Can Fonts Improve Your Memory? Sans Forgetica Claims So.

Sans Forgetica Font

This new font may just be your new study hack.

Here’s a new tool you can use for your next cramming study session: A font developed by Australian researchers that aims to help you remember information.

Sans Forgetica

The lab and design school of RMIT University in Melbourne collaborated to create the “Sans Forgetica“. It claims to combine psychological and design theories to help the reader in memory retention. Stephen Banham, an RMIT typography lecturer, who was part of the team that created the font said that it is a useful study tool. It was released as thousands of students start their review for their Year 12 exams.

It shouldn’t be used for the whole reviewer but is ideal to highlight. You can do it with the important facts to remember like the dates, events, people,  and quotes.

“You would certainly never set an entire novel in it,” he said.

“I like to think of it as blue cheese, it works very well in small portions.”

Sans Forgetica

The Font Experiment

There were around 400 university students that they involved in testing the range of fonts. Among these, Sans Forgetica emerged as the winner as it made use of the right amount of design rules while still being quite readable. The font is based on the psychological idea of ‘desirable difficulty. It works by disrupting the person’s normal reading patterns.

It was then tested with a more regular and plain font Arial and tested on how much of the text is remembered. With this, Sans Forgetica comes out on top getting more at 57% while Arial got 50%.

Banham said the font had this unusual seven-degree back slant to the left and contained gaps in each letter.  “The mind will naturally seek to complete those shapes and so by doing that it slows the reading and triggers memory,”

Meanwhile, the Senior marketing lecturer added that it is able to help because of the obstruction added in the gaps. These are able to add to the learning process because if something is too easy then it doesn’t create a memory trace. “If it’s too difficult, it doesn’t leave a memory trace either. So you need to look for that sweet spot.”

It is designed for the students cramming for exams but may be used for much more. This may be used for teachers’ presentations or for people studying foreign languages. It may even be put to use by the elderly who are struggling with memory loss.


Free for Download

They are planning on testing it for other platforms such as proofreading. As of the moment, they decided that the typeface is best used for shorter texts. The whole process took 6 months to develop and 3 different versions were tested.

The researchers are now in the works of publishing the results in a scientific journal. They are also inviting people to download the font so if you’re interested, the font is available for free over at their website. 

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