It’s easy to forget things, like, erm, that thing, what was that thing? Jeez, we had it a minute ago. No idea. It’s gone. Anyway, what we’re trying to say is that it’s easy, so we need as many tools as we can to remember things.
Like a font, maybe. A font, that we use to type - that will help us remember stuff, won’t it? Course it will.
Well, researchers at RMIT University in Melbourne have managed to prove this ridiculous theory, and are looking out for that old brain of yours with the creation of a new font called ‘Sans Forgetica’, which will supposedly aid your mind in all its future endeavours.
The font has slices out of its letters and also a seven-degree slant and supposedly, that’s what you need to have a healthy brain. Take a look at it and you’ll live to 125.*
But there’s science here to back it up (ok, maybe not the live to 125 years-old bit…). The university tested the newly designed font on 400 students, and 57% of them remembered text written in Sans Forgetica, compared to 50% in everyone’s favourite font, Arial.
So how does it work? Well, it’s due to something called “desirable difficulty”. Essentially, it’ all to do with recognising that something is out of the ordinary.
Senior marketing lecturer at RMIT, Janneke Blijlevens, said:
“When we want to learn something and remember it, it’s good to have a little bit of an obstruction added to that learning process because if something is too easy it doesn’t create a memory trace.
“If it’s too difficult, it doesn’t leave a memory trace either. So you need to look for that sweet spot.”
Typography lecturer Stephen Banham, added:
“The mind will naturally seek to complete those shapes and so by doing that it slows the reading and triggers memory.”
Researchers say it could be good for learning new languages, if not your own language - if you don’t know it already. Be careful though, because if you do plan on using it, Banham says that picking it for the long term “would probably induce a headache”. But then again, remember that time you had a headache?
*Not a guarantee.