Designing for accessibility: The best defense for Comic Sans

By Michael Sasorith | June 2017

dyslexia-font.jpg

I started my design career when the hate for Comic Sans had already been strongly established. When I was in college, no one was asking why this was. Every design student just knew to avoid using the font or else others would question your capabilities as a designer—unless, of course, the purpose for using it was to be ironic.

If it wasn’t for the fact that people started using it for anything and everything (from professional brochures to tombstones) rather than what it was originally created for, it probably wouldn’t have garnered such a huge backlash. Check out this short video about Comic Sans and its origins.

 

 

A dyslexic individual can have trouble reading in many different forms, including breaking down the sounds of letters or remembering by sight. Being dyslexic is also unique because it doesn’t necessarily fall into types—a person can have a wide range of challenges.

 dyslexia-font-comic-sans.png

 

One common difficulty for people with dyslexia is distinguishing letterforms that are similar, such as b/d, p/q, and n/u. This is why Comic Sans is a super helpful dyslexia font choice. The irregularity of the font is what makes each letterform unique and easier to distinguish. But, if you can’t find yourself using the hated font for your marketing materials or website, here’s a list of preferred dyslexia fonts made by the British Dyslexia Association: Typefaces for Dyslexia.

Since ArcStone’s Web Accessibility event (review the recap), I’ve been more conscious than ever regarding the many ways designers can make content more accessible. The gorgeous amount of negative space, the beautiful color combinations and the perfect typography choice are elements that make up our profession. But, if we focus too much on the aspect of making things aesthetically-pleasing and not enough on functionality, then we’re failing to be the problem-solvers that we advertise ourselves to be.

More Resources:

Typefaces for Dyslexia, dyslexia.com | https://www.dyslexic.com/fonts/

Different Types of Dyslexia, Understood | https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/child-learning-disabilities/dyslexia/different-types-of-dyslexia

Comic Sans Might Just be the Best Font for People with Dyslexia, AIGA | https://eyeondesign.aiga.org/sad-but-true-comic-sans-might-just-be-the-best-font-for-dyslexics/

Dyslexia Font, Christian Boer | https://www.dyslexiefont.com/en/

Christian Boer’s TedTalk |https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qVaeGOflF7w 

Topics: Digital, Design and Technology

New Call-to-action