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What really makes a font easy on the eye?

Our blog guest this week Bríd Ní Chatháin has not only done the research, she has created the font that is ideal for both adults and children who have visual difficulties or dyslexia. And we're delighted to stock it here. Read more about what makes the Buxilious font such a great tool to have as one of your resources to make your teaching and tutoring even more inclusive.

The dyslexia-friendly Buxiliciousfont in action!

No matter how many wonderful resources a teacher or tutor has, every now and then none of those resources quite fit the students that they want to teach. Often the difficulty lies in not having the best materials to differentiate for students with learning differences. So we open up a new document and start creating.

When we take time to create teaching or tutoring resources, we’re often tempted to “pretty” them up. After all, we want people to appreciate the work that we’ve put into them. So a fancy font here and a few swirls there…

But pretty is not what these students need. They need a well laid out resource in a clear dyslexia-friendly font. But which font? Bux Books set out to answer that question and found, to their surprise, that the best answer was to create their own font!

There isn’t a huge mountain of research papers and articles out there on font usage and dyslexia, but they dug deep and the consensus was – surprise! – not a consensus. But there was a clear direction. Sans Serif is clearer than Serif; kerning (spacing) makes a big difference and mirrored letters like b and d – well they’re just plain confusing.

It was also interesting to learn from studies, as well as from their own unscientific but very willing guinea pigs, that fonts that stray too far from the more commonly used typography can actually slow reading down. This is probably because the reader now has to switch between the letter shapes that they usually see and more uncommon ones. And that switching just adds to the load that the reader with dyslexia is already carrying. So Bux Books didn’t go down that path.

But they did go with a lot of the wisdom in these studies and with their guinea pig feedback. So Buxilicious

  • is a Sans Serif font

  • has small distinguishing details on frequently confused letters to differentiate them.

  • has longer ascenders and descenders (those leggy letters)

  • makes punctuation more obvious so that the text makes more sense the first time it’s read

  • has clear, elegant letters and spacing that ensures that they don’t run into one another but provide a clean, easy read

  • just looks good!

Here's another look at the Buxilious font, and readers of this blog can download an exclusive sample of Pinocchio in Buxilicious.

Pinocchio x Buxilicious

Both adults and children with dyslexia or visual perception difficulties have reported back that Buxilicious is highly readable and eases eyestrain.

And now, Buxilicious will be available for download on the Jigsaw Phonics Tutoring website! Easy to download and install, you can use it for your very next resource and make reading easier for all your students.

Bríd is a font creator. She's also a qualified literacy and SEN support specialist with many years of experience as a teacher, dyslexia assessor and process facilitator, implementing inclusive practices in mainstream classrooms. And you'll also meet her in the Tutor Like a Pro! membership as she's a tutor on the Become a Phonics Expert! training course, which is 12 hours of phonics CPD that busts phonics jargon by looking at how the concepts link to your practical teaching and tutoring practice.

Check out more from Bux Books here

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