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Fact: Fascinating new research from a study performed at Clifton College in Bristol shows that when dyslexic students had to work harder to decode hard-to-read fonts, their test results were boosted by a fifth.

Interestingly, this seems to fly in the face of a more prevalent view that cleaner fonts are easier for struggling readers. However, it is easy to see how that might lead to a guessing strategy, as the child breezes over the text rather than really focusing on each word.

“Our study suggests dyslexic pupils benefit significantly from reading information in a hard-to-read font and supports the idea that it is the greater cognitive processing that helps students remember what they have read,” he said.

“Pupils at Clifton College are now benefiting from revision material and some printed class notes being available in hard-to-read fonts. The evidence suggests this will help them to recall the information more readily in future as well as during the upcoming GCSE and A-level exams.”

Compare this harder-to-read font:

monotype_corsivaWith this easy-to-read font:

imagesWhat do you think? Do you find one easier or harder to read? Does your child?

Here is the full report:

Sarah Forrest is an Easyread System coach who always prefers crisp to curly when it comes to fonts. Easyread is an online phonics course for kids who need spelling help or reading help due to dyslexia, auditory processing disorder, highly visual learning styles or other common causes of reading problems. Find out more at