Have you ever been trying to study, and after it’s done you don’t retain it all, or you find yourself having to reread it all again? Well, the researchers at RMIT University have a solution for you. A new font called Sans Forgetica, helps students retain information.

How it works

Sans Forgetica is more difficult to read than most typefaces – and that’s by design. The ‘desirable difficulty’ you experience when reading information formatted in Sans Forgetica prompts your brain to engage in deeper processing. They did this by taking insights from psychological theory and design theory. It works by a design principle called desirable difficulty, which is where an obstruction is added to the learning process, in order to promote deeper cognitive processing, which results in better memory retention.

Typical fonts like Arial, Times New Roman, and Helvetica are familiar and so we glance over them and no memory trace is created. On the other hand, if a font is too different then our brain can’t process it and no memory trace is created either. Sans Forgetica lies at that sweet spot where just enough perceptual rules have been broken to create that memory trace.

Who made it?

In order to create a typeface with optimal and the desirable difficulty for memory recall, RMIT lecturer and renowned typographer Stephen Banham worked with RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab to design three fonts, which progressively broke more design principles. These three were tested through the inviting of over 100 students to participate in memory tests, presented in different fonts that RMIT had come up with, to find the one that best-aided memory retention. The best was then called Sans Forgetica, which hit that sweet spot.

Where can I get it?

It’s available for free here at http://www.sansforgetica.rmit/, and it’s available as a Google Chrome extension.