Typefaces Designed to Serve a Greater Purpose

A good typeface goes a long way. Typography nerds will be the first to point out that all typefaces should serve a deliberate purpose, most often integrating text to fit the overall design, to communicate a message as clearly as possible, or to convey a memorable aesthetic. An ill-chosen or careless font can certainly make or break a headline. But sometimes the impact that a font has can also go much further than simple aesthetics and readability.

Font Aid IV: Aster Affects, a design project benefiting relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, is perhaps one way for a font to make a difference. Other examples have shown that readability in a typeface isn’t always a good thing. Fonts can have a dramatic cognitive influence, and research has shown that unfamiliar fonts can actually make it easier to retain certain information. Similarly, harder-to-read fonts could possibly make you less of a biased jerk. So, we’ve rounded up some examples of other typefaces and typological curiosities that have been designed for unconventional purposes.

Dyslexie: a typeface designed for dyslexia 

[via Co.Design]

Christian Boer is a typographer who also happens to suffer from dyslexia, a cognitive condition in which letterforms tend to be seen as images. Dyslexics rotate, exchange, invert, or shift letterforms around in their head, making it difficult to read. Boer designed Dyslexie to make individual characters distinct from one another, allowing dyslexics to more easily distinguish differences. Although he says that Dyslexie is not a cure, it is an effective way to adapt a typeface for the challenges of dyslexia, and it opens up a brilliant new way of thinking about typeface alternatives in relation to cognitive or visual difficulties.