News / Graphic Design

Student-friendly new typeface Sans Forgetica claims to boost memory


RMIT University

Forgetfulness is a terrible thing, isnt it? One minute you’re bright, alert and ready to make a start on…on…oh God, nope, it’s gone. No idea. Oh right, yeah, yeah, that was it: we were going to tell you about a new font that could come in really handy.

The behavioural business lab and design school at Melbourne’s RMIT University have partnered to produce a new typeface which they claim can “help people remember more of what they read,” with the intention being to aid students who need to retain huge chunks of information ahead of exams.

Sans Forgetica — which is available as a free download via RMIT’s website — combines “psychological theory and design principles,” in order to “improve retention of written information.” It does this, and the Guardian reports that in a test of 400 students, 57% of text written in Sans Forgetica was remembered — compared with 50% in plain Arial — by utilising an unusual combination of a backwards slant and gaps in the letterforms themselves.

A spokesperson for RMIT says, “the font was developed using a learning principle called ‘desirable difficulty’, where an obstruction is added to the learning process that requires us to put in just enough effort, leading to better memory retention to promote deeper cognitive processing.”

While it’s unlikely you’ll want to use it as part of your every day reading experience, Sans Forgetica could be a handy type-tool for the stressed students in your life.