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Simple Fonts Make It Harder to Remember What You've Read

Simple Fonts Make It Harder to Remember What You've Read

In a blow to Helvetica fanatics everywhere (this girl included), a new Princeton study finds that the easier the font, the less you'll remember after reading. Turns out challenging, "disfluent" fonts actually help readers retain information, not hinder it as many people believe.

This could spell bad news for avid ereader users hoping to quickly retain much of what they've read, since most feature simple and unchangeable fonts. It makes sense — the more complex the font, the longer your eye lingers on the word, and the longer your brain has to process and retain the information, sort of like a complicated mental workout. Even if ereaders did start offering the option of different fonts, I don't know that I'd purposely choose a complicated one in hopes of retaining more information.

Source: Flickr User carbonnycs

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RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 6 years
Crazy! But it makes sense. Will people use this as an excuse to have horrible handwriting? :p
kesatuuli kesatuuli 6 years
I understand that when things are too easy to read, the brain perhaps doesnt take much time to process what is read, but there are also other psychological studies to show that when things are hard to read, it causes people to lose focus because it's too mentally time-consuming to try and decipher what is being written. everyone has seen that lecture that has too many pictures, animation, weird fonts, it's nauseating. I think this information only applies when readers are very motivated to read what is on a page, but for people who are studying or reading something they don't like, distracting fonts will be even more hindering.
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