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Using hard-to-read fonts. A good idea?

Apparently, yes! Not really what I used to have in mind when looking for a suitable font for a reading text, but after stumbling upon an interview with professor Oppenheimer today, I have to say.. it got me thinking! Check out these two pieces of text and decide which one you would prefer to read, A or B?


Here´s what Oppenheimer and his colleagues at Harvard University found: People recall what they’ve read better when it’s printed in smaller, less legible type. This sounds counterintuitive, but think of it this way: when we have a piece of paper, or a computer screen, in front of us with a big chunk of text to read, we skimm through the text, getting as much out of it in as little time because we have at least 20 other things to do today.. so: our eyes race over the letters, sending signals to our brain, and we learn a thing or two. Great! But what happens if the letters are a bit less comfortable to race over? That´s right, we have to slow down, we read slower and.. learn more!

On top of that, there´s evidence that when a text is harder to decipher, it makes the reader less confident in himself regarding his ability to understand what he´s reading, making him concentrate harder.

Next question that pops up: How readable or unreadable should we make the text then? Well, obviously here we have to look for a happy medium. A beautiful little extra challenge I gave myself today. Cheers!


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