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Volume 1, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 1753-5190
  • E-ISSN: 1753-5204


The investigation concerns a series of typeface legibility and readability studies which have resulted in the creation of a number of new typefaces including Sylexiad. Sylexiad is grounded and informed from a dyslexic viewpoint and is a typeface for the adult dyslexic reader.

Sylexiad was developed by means of comparative typeface testing. This involved a series of formative and summative small-scale tests that accommodated two established word recognition models word shape and parallel letter recognition. This novel method of measuring legibility and readability is called developmental typeface testing. The data was gathered by means of qualitative and quantitative techniques from dyslexic and non-dyslexic groups based at Norwich University College of the Arts and The University of East Anglia. These techniques included questionnaires, interviews and observations. The research was inductive and practice-based in approach.

The findings identify which typographic characteristics adult dyslexic and non-dyslexic readers preferred and why. For the majority of non-dyslexic readers tested, it was the combination of serif-style, lowercase forms, large x-heights, medium weight, variable strokes and normal inter-word spacing that was preferred. The non-dyslexic readers also favoured the form of Times New Roman. Conversely, for the majority of dyslexic readers tested it was the combination of handwritten style, uppercase forms, long ascenders and descenders, light weight, uniform strokes, perpendicular design and generous inter-word spacing that was preferred. The dyslexic readers also favoured the form of Serif Sylexiad.

The conclusions have raised issues that confirm and contradict current typographic principles of legibility. In particular, from a dyslexic perspective, the word shape model has been challenged. The outcomes and issues that have been identified as a result of developmental typeface testing have therefore contributed to new knowledge within the field of dyslexia typographic research.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): developmental typeface testing; dine; dyslexic; legibility; sylexiad
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