Graphic designer Christian Boer (1981) graduates in 2008 with a very special graduation project; a project that makes the letter jungle accessible for people with dyslexia. In 2008, the organization Dyslexie font is born. We are happy to share our whole story…
In 2008 Christian - who loves to learn but who is always been challenged when doing so – decides to turn his biggest point of frustration into something positive. Studying might have been a struggle, but designing is his biggest talent. He decided, as a graduate of graphic design, to research how the shape of letters could increase the readability for people with dyslexia.
Christian starts to observe and analyse the different features of dyslexia. He comes to the conclusion that while dyslectics face difficulties to distinguish letters and other 2D objects, they don’t have any problem in distinguishing 3D objects. He starts to design 3D letters, which he later transcribes into 2D.
A font that avoids mirroring, turning, swapping and crowding
According to typography rules, letters should be shaped symmetrically; a rule that strongly works against people with dyslexia. Basic rules are ignored, the challenges of dyslexia form the guidelines. Christian designs a font that avoids mirroring, turning, swapping and crowding: Dyslexie font, a well readable font for people with dyslexia.
Not all teachers are cheering about Christian’s plan, but a little support was enough to realize his plans and graduate for his Bachelor degrees with Honors in Graphic Design. After graduation, Dyslexie font gets immediate recognition and is received with open arms by the international dyslexia community. A lot of people tried to copy or poorly imitate Christian's work. What differentiates Dyslexie font from all other 'dyslexic friendly' fonts is that it is made with consciousness and love, taking into serious consideration the needs of a dyslectic, as its designer knows them first-hand.
This was only the beginning of Dyslexie font. We would love to share some of our highlights of the last years.
In 2011 Dyslexie Font receives the first prize at the Smart Urban Stage Awards in Amsterdam. International demand and interest grows. Christian is invited later this year for a presentation during TEDx in Dubai, after which the first big organizations start to purchase Dyslexie Font for their staff.
2012 also was an exciting year. The typing course TypeTopia becomes available in Dyslexie font and so does the first book, “Adventures of Glass”, after which several other publishers start to make their books available in Dyslexie font.
2013 is again a turbulent year. Christian is a finalist during the INDEX: Design to Improve Live awards in Copenhagen and FastCompany Innovation by Design Awards in New York. Later, during the Rabobank New Generation Pitch in Utrecht, the font also wins the first prize.
In 2014 a huge goal has been accomplished. The Dyslexie font trial version can be used for free by home users – an important milestone. Later this year, international publishers start to make their books available on the market in Dyslexie font, such as the children’s book series from Henry Winkler: “Hank Zipster”.
In 2015 we have gotten approached with requests from unexpected parties. Manufactures of toys want to use the font for their wooden toys and a climbing hall uses the font for magnets on the wall. There are over a 1.000 book titles added to the booklist and Dyslexie font is asked to take over the stage during TEDx in New York for a presentation.
Also in 2016, there is a huge milestone waiting for us: a successful crowdfunding campaign, due to the great feedback of Dyslexie font users and the massive support. We are very thankful for this wonderful outcome and it’s enough to improve our online user interface and to develop new products, such as the Chrome Extension and the Dyslexie Font text editor.
In 2017 we keep on optimizing and developing our online user interface and new products. In addition, our new website is launched. Also, we are working hard to make Dyslexie font available at the lowest possible rate for school. This way we aim to make learning fun again and challenge children with dyslexia in a positive way.
We believe that reading is the key to a better future. We would like to make this key also available to people with dyslexia. By contributing to a greater awareness, recognition and development, we hope to help people with dyslexia to make their way through the daily letter jungle and make reading, learning and working fun again.