Sans Forgetica – A Strange New Font That Promises To Help You Ace Every Test

By

CCSS NCSS-1
This new font promises to boost memory (Image Credit: RMIT University/ Dezeen.com)

From creating crazy mnemonics to constructing elaborate mind maps, all of us have at some point experimented with techniques to help us recall relevant information during tests and exams. Now, a group of researchers at the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia have devised a new trick to help boost our memories – a gap-ridden, and oddly slanted, typeface that they ironically called Sans Forgetica!

The science behind the font (Image Credit: sansforgetica.rmit)

Released for free online download on October 3, 2018, the font is the first typeface specifically designed to help people, students in particular, retain more information. Based on the principles of cognitive science and psychology, Sans Forgetica comprises two main design elements – a backward slant of eight degrees and a series of small openings in the letters. While the combination results in some pretty weird looking text, it does make the reader take a second glance – precisely what it was designed to do. The RMIT researchers say the font creates a desirable point of difficulty, or a sweet spot, that is engaging yet legible.

Example of San Forgetica (Image Credit: sansforgetica.rmit)

But before you start converting all your notes to the memory-boosting font, the researchers do warn it should be used sparingly to remain effective. Janneke Blijlevens, of RMIT’s Behavioral Business Lab, who worked on the project, cautions that if the brain gets too much exposure to Sans Forgetica, it will get used to reading it just as easily as if it were Arial or Times New Roman, two of the world’s most ubiquitous fonts. The expert says, “We believe it is best used to emphasize key sections, like a definition in a text, rather than converting entire texts or books.”

Though the team has not published a scientific paper to support their claims, a study involving 400 university students found that 57% remembered more when they used Sans Forgetica, compared to 50% that studied using plain Arial. The researchers now hope to get more feedback from the public. "We really just want people to use it to experiment with it and see how it goes," says team leader Professor Stephen Banham. "We're looking forward to seeing what people do with it."

Eager to test if the font truly works? Read the words in the above image and see how many you are able to recall an hour later. Most importantly, don’t forget to let us, and the RMIT researchers know if it worked by voting below.

Resources: Smithsonianmag.com, www.rmit.edu.au.

Cite Article
Vocabulary List
cautionscognitivecombinationcomprisesdefinitiondevisedelaborateemphasizeengagingexposurefeedbackfontironicallylegiblemnemonicspreciselyprinciplespsychologyretaintechniquesubiquitous
420 Comments
  • some random guyTuesday, October 8, 2019 at 9:08 am
    i dont believe this
    • abwuserWednesday, August 28, 2019 at 8:13 am
      exactly.
      • Fabiano CarawanMonday, June 3, 2019 at 9:35 am
        Youre not the best at chess. just because you beat me in the world chess championship doesnt make you better
        • Magnus CarlsonMonday, June 3, 2019 at 9:29 am
          Im the greatest at CHESS
          • CoolkidFriday, May 31, 2019 at 8:35 am
            I am using this in my Google docs
            • Also meThursday, May 23, 2019 at 8:41 am
              Was is trying to help me NOT forget the words because it didn’t.
              • MeMonday, May 20, 2019 at 6:26 am
                srsly?
                • shiteheadFriday, May 17, 2019 at 9:03 am
                  i could use this in a logo
                  • bobbyThursday, April 25, 2019 at 2:59 pm
                    it is so cool
                    • kittenqueen5498
                      kittenqueen5498Thursday, March 28, 2019 at 8:20 am
                      That's easy to read!