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Wednesday, 26 January 2011 11:07

Comic sans is good for you

Written by Nick Farell


Makes you the font of all wisdom
Boffins have worked out that one of the world's most unpopular typefaces helps kids learn.

Comic Sans, which was subjected to an Internet campaign to have it banned, could help pupils to remember what they have read, researchers have found. Like many things evil, the typeface was created by Microsoft employee Vincent Connare for use in speech bubbles.

Now after an exhaustive series of tests academics from Princeton and Indiana universities have found that it may help pupils to retain information. Connor Diemand-Yauman, Daniel M Oppenheimer and Erikka B Vaughan said the reason may be that fonts such as Comic Sans are tricky to read so it makes kids brains work harder to comprehend them. If they were not so difficult their eyes would just skate over the page.

In a paper published in the journal Cognition, they have reported the results of a study with 222 high school students in which teachers from six subjects sent their material to the researchers. Others tested included Haettenschweiler, Monotype Corsiva or Comic Sans italicised. Princeton and Indiana researchers said that being able to read something is not the same as being able to remember it.

Nick Farell

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