When installing fonts on my new Kobo e-reader, I came across a font that I had never heard of before: Lexend. It is a free, sans-serif font with a bold mission and a rather audacious website. Here is some of its most informative copy:
In 1999, as an educational therapist, Dr. Bonnie Shaver-Troup, working with clients, began observing that reading issues masked the individual’s true capability and intelligence.
In 2000, Bonnie theorized that reading performance would improve through use of:
- A sans-serif font to reduce cognitive noise
- Expanded scaling to improve potential for character recognition
- Hyper-expansion of character spacing, which creates a greater lag time and reduces potential crowding and masking effects
- These changes led to the development of seven specially-designed fonts, which create an immediate improvement in reading performance.
This is where Lexend was formed.
There is also a Google case study that goes into some detail about the font’s unique features.
So far I installed its vanilla variant, simply called Lexend, on my Kobo and read a few pages with it. It looks nice! I can install it on my iPad with FontCase, but I can’t use it in the app I read in most, which is Apple Books. That severely limits how useful it will be for me. At some point, I would like to test it out on difficult reading material and see if it helps me stay focused and improves my recall.