Educational Benefits to Ugly Fonts

Are ugly fonts more memorable?

Well H800 has started and I’m into my second year of this MA. Think this year will be a little easier as I’m more organised this time besides getting a few study days to write the TMAs and EMA. There’s 20 people in our group so the forums take a while to read – lots of ideas and angles. There was some discussion about the grand Palatino font which brought about the popular topic of ugly fonts.

Neuroscience blogger Jonah Lehrer discusses his own gut feeling that we remember ugly fonts much more easily. Research reveals that students tend to learn better when learning is made harder, specifically when using a font that is more challenging to read.

Wired also claim to there are Educational Benefits to Ugly Fonts and to some degree I have to agree. This lead me to test the theory, so I decided to make a poster to introduce a lesson plan instead of a producing a list of key facts. I used a selection of various fonts, jumbled them up and gave certain words the ‘ugly’ treatment. The class viewing this poster were graphic design students so a little effect was required I guess.

Interestingly, I believe the treatment works far better that a straight bullet list. Be interesting to get some comments.


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