Rather than show us what a reading disorder looks like, designer Daniel Britton wants us to understand how it feels.
When it comes to conveying the difficulties faced by those living with a reading disability, graphic designer Daniel Britton has opted to show, rather than tell.
Britton is the creator of an innovative line of typeface designed to replicate the frustrations felt by those among the three to four percent of the population estimated to have dyslexia. It’s an example of how deliberate typography and design can not only inform how we see the world, but actively bridge a gap between those who might otherwise be separated by both neurology and cultural stigma.
Britton’s typeface, explains Dezeen, was created by lopping off 40 percent of each letter within the classic Helvetica font. Each character is then left with just enough remaining to be recognizable, but only with considerable difficulty. When strung together in words and sentences, Britton estimates his font takes people up to to ten times longer to process than usual.
Difficult as it is to read, the typeface isn’t meant to duplicate what someone with dyslexia actually sees, so much as it attempts to engender a similar emotional response as that felt by someone with a reading disorder. Britton, who was himself diagnosed with the dyslexia during college, tells Dezeen:
“What I wanted to do was recreate or simulate the emotions of reading with dyslexia to try and put across how frustrating it is to try and read something simple”
Already the typeface has been used on advertisements promoting a dyslexia-awareness exhibit in the UK, and has reportedly been shown to members of the British parliament, as well.