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This Font Helps You Remember Things

Words:

Edd Norval
October 5, 2018

The humorously titled 'San Forgetica' is a typeface designed by Australian researches with a goal in mind - to help you remember. We have all been in the situation where we read a page, flick it over and then realise we don't know what just happened. This might help.

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The font, it is claimed, literally lodges information deeper into your brains by way of extensive research, psychology and science. In other words, magic.


The font is based on the theory of 'desirable difficulty' whereby your brain will remember things better when extra effort is required to get the information in there in the first place. The typeface has sections that are 'missing', thus our brain must fill in the gap. Such minor obstacles may, research suggests, cause our brains to remember the text better.


If you're a disciple of clean typography, as the creator Stephen Banham is, then this will fly in the face of all that is Holy and dear. It's not pretty, but it works. What more could you want?

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Tested on 400 students at the RMIT University in Melbourne, the typeface "broke just enough design principles without becoming too illegible and aided memory retention". Essentially, our brain seems to like puzzles, or at least it likes the challenge they pose. With this typeface, they are provoked just enough to be forced into remembering the text written in the type.


It's nice then, that as a way of thanking us for giving it something to do, our brain gives us something back.


Sans Forgetica is sort of a prototype. It's the first font created with this in mind. One would imagine that, in a time where companies, institutions and news outlets are all vying for the valuable places in our minds, there will be more such nifty techniques employed in the future.


There is a catch though, if it's used too often, it looses its efficiency. It would seem that it's a case of the first time being the most memorable. Could the fight for memory with such sorcery be the continuation of advertisings quest for more innovative mediums on which to beam their message? Maybe. Could it be used for some serious good too? Absolutely, just imagine the possibilities.


Head to their website and try it for yourself: www.sansforgetica.com.au

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