Dyslexie versus OpenDyslexic

June 11th, 2014 Update: Dyslexie font is now FREE for home users. Click here to download).

We recently heard a lot of about the now-famous OpenDyslexic font developed by Abelardo Gonzalez. The font has been praised by some, received mixed-reviews, or seen as not serving its intended purpose by others (also discussed on this blog in a different post). Regardless, many are implementing the font. A quick check of the OpenDyslexic Facebook page or “Products” section of the website will show just how many apps, sites, and books are using OpenDyslexic.

Interestingly, Christian Boer also developed a font aimed at individuals with dyslexia called Dyslexie which was released in 2008 (about four years before OpenDyslexic).

Below is a video about the font.

Like OpenDyslexic, there are websites, such as Friends of Quinn, and books which are using Dyslexie, as described here. Dyslexie is not free, however. It goes for $69 for private, home use (UPDATE: Christian Boer left a comment on this post on June 11th, 2014 letting us know that the Dyslexie font is now FREE for home users. Click here to download).

In addition, Christian Boer cites that research at the University of Twente supports that Dyslexie font is easier for individuals with dyslexia to read. A 2010 Master’s thesis on the font is available and a full report for 2012 can be found here. This, I believe is helpful in demonstrating the usefulness of the font. Research studies should also be conducted using OpenDyslexic to further substantiate what users are reporting – that it is helping them read.

The release of OpenDyslexic caused some controversy as Gonzalez received a “cease and desist” order from Boer claiming copyright infringement. Other sources describing the dispute can be found here and here. Despite these potential setbacks and controversy, both Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic are widely being used with praise from their respective users.

Which font do you find easier to read, OpenDyslexic or Dyslexie?

–Rita W. El-Haddad

OpenDyslexic (source)

OpenDyslexic (source)

Dyslexie (source)

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14 thoughts on “Dyslexie versus OpenDyslexic

  1. Interesting, never knew dyslexics this was such a big problem, in that I am dyslexic and that I never thought I needed something that could be easier to read. Usually the problem always seems to be with spelling and multi-fractional mathematics. Keeping that aside; from what I can tell is that the Dyslexie font is more readable than the OpenDyslexic font because the letters are not 100% bottom heavy. They seem to be weighted at different areas which makes it better for reading small text.

    Yes, we may be dyslexic, but some of us are adults and we can’t read things at font size 24pt. Even if you printed a 500 page book with OpenDyslexic I’d throw it away because the top of each character is so thin and the bottom is so thick that seeing a whole page looks messy.

    Then again, I wouldn’t pay money on Dyslexie either, the only reason it is easier to read than OpenDyslexic is because it is much closer to normal fonts. Which is almost like scam in my opinion. I also believe that if Dyslexie were free it would not be as popular as OpenDyslexic because they’d be using these fonts targeting children so OpenDyslexic is better to use because you would print with big sized letters. And no one feels bothered to use something that looks almost like normal fonts.

    I think I mentioned this before, the strategy to reading better, faster and without having to go back and re-read is not to change the weight of the font, it is to make each letter uniquely distinguishable so that it cannot be mistaken for another. Again like pq bd O0 lI and others. Geniuses have invented Serif fonts because eyes can scan them fast. They invented non-serif fonts because it slows the eyes down when scanning thus body text is done in serif and titles are done in sans-serif. What did these two achieve ? Don’t know the b and the d still look similar I can confuse them.

    The cease and desist is funny, it’s like he’s not making any real money but the other guy stole some fame and Boer is jealous. Well Boer now everyone knows about your font and no one will buy it, there’s your 15 minutes.

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  2. Reblogged this on Illustration, Graphic Design & Process and commented:
    I would like to test this font because I think it is a wonderful idea to make designs and layouts more accessible to dyslexic individuals. This would be wonderful for an education project. I think it would take a little work to make it flow comfortably in a design since we are not used to looking at the tilted and bottom heavy letters but it is not impossible. A challenge I would like to meet.

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  3. Geodma: Thanks for your input on the post and the fonts.

    Kari: Thanks for reblogging! I hope there will be more work to test these fonts to really determine their usefulness for those with dyslexia.

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  4. Also try checking out this one. It is expensive, and it doesn’t have gravity, but it was developed in conjunction with people with a range of learning disabilities, and was a collaboration between a leading learning disabilities organisation (men cap) and, crucially, a top grade professional font house. It on the highest design award in the UK.

    Geodma, you should like it. It uses many typographical techniques but at the heart is ensuring that every letter is completely distinct, with no noting, symmetry etc., and just looks like a regular professional font.

    http://www.fontsmith.com/fonts/fs-me.cfm?tab=detail

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  5. Thanks for sharing this, Ian. I see that it looks mainly sanserif, but the lowercase and upper-case “i” have serif qualities that make it easier for visibility. Do you have any links to the research conducted about this font?

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  6. I find Dyslexie more aesthetically pleasing and easier to read. I use it when reading ebooks on my Kobo Aura — which comes with both Dyslexie and OpenDyslexic already installed. Cool hey?

    However, I have to say that I adore OpenDyslexic’s open source philosophy. It’s just a pity it’s an inferior (in my opinion) font…

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