Do funky fonts actually help you remember?

In 1999, two graphic designers from Indianapolis raised a stir when they tried to discourage the use of Comic Sans MS, the silly-looking font designed by Vincent Connare and modeled after the text in American comic books. The designers observed that a font is the orthographic (written) equivalent of one’s tone of voice, and that Comic Sans was essentially like a squeaky-helium voice but in text.

Flash forward to 2011 and a recent study from Princeton University that suggests ‘funky fonts’ such as the aforementioned typeface as well as Bodini MT may in fact boost learning and long-term retention of information.

(What’s the origin of  “funk” and “funky?” Find out, here.)

The study presented information about three fictitious alien species to 28 volunteers. The text consisted of a strange alien name along with seven individual characteristics for all three alien species. Some of the volunteers received lists that were typed in an easy-to-read font such as Arial, while others received lists that were typed in a hard-to-read font such as Comic Sans MS or Bodini MT. Each volunteer was allotted 90 seconds to memorize which characteristic matched which species. Those who read from the hard-to-read lists got 86.5 percent of the questions right.

Another study involved 222 high school students who, over the course of several weeks, received assessment tests in both hard-to-read fonts and the traditional easy-to-read fonts. The students who learned with the ‘funky fonts’ scored higher.

Conventional wisdom tells us that the easier it is to learn something, the easier it will be to remember. Both studies, suggest that disfluency, an interruption of the smooth flow of speech, actually enhances the learning process. How can this be? In a nutshell – it is the increased level of difficulty that makes information stick.

A related phenomenon is when you can comprehend the meaning of words in a sentence even when the interior letters of each word are scrambled. Learn what this ability is called and how it works, here.

Are there words or concepts related to how you understand meaning that you would like us to explore? Let us know, and we’ll do our best.

Tagliani?ˆ™s day ends early with a crash

SouthtownStar (Chicago, IL) May 30, 2011 SPEEDWAY, Ind. ?ˆ” Pole sitter Alex Tagliani?ˆ™s day at the Indianapolis 500 ended too early. Tagliani ran into the wall on lap 147, damaging the right front suspension on his No. 77 Bowers and Wilkins car.

?ˆ?We were losing the rear of the car and I had to change all the tools I had with me in the car like the shocks,?ˆ? said Tagliani, who led 20 laps. ?ˆ?I had to protect the rear. There was a flat spot into the pits and I had locked the tires. I was really loose today and the car was on the edge.?ˆ?

Tagliani was vying to become the second Canadian since Jacques Villeneuve in 1995 to win the prestigious race. see here bowers and wilkins

Danica?ˆ™s race Danica Patrick led 11 laps after starting the race in the 25th spot and finished 10th. It was the first time Patrick led a lap at Indy since her rookie year in 2005.

Patrick lost the lead with 10 laps to go when she had to pit for four tires and fuel. Patrick said she stayed out as long as she could without pitting, knowing it would come down to fuel mileage.

?ˆ?I had to take that chance,?ˆ? said Patrick, who denied a published report this week that she would switch to NASCAR next season. ?ˆ?I picked up a (tire) vibration. We tend to pick up a vibration at the end of every tire life.?ˆ?

Not that bad E.J. Viso crashed on lap 28 after the IZOD IndyCar series?ˆ™ first double-file restart on an oval track this season. Viso said the new restart rule had nothing to do with his crash into the Turn 1 wall.

?ˆ?I ran behind (rookie James) Hinchcliffe and went to the outside to avoid him,?ˆ? Viso said. ?ˆ?He got into my right rear tire and it had nothing to do with the restart. I love the new system.?ˆ?

The crash destroyed the right side of Viso?ˆ™s car.

Hinchcliffe was able to stay in the race until he crashed into the wall on lap 100.

Simona?ˆ™s day ends early Swiss driver Simona de Silvestro was the sentimental favorite Sunday after suffering serious burns to her hands and part of her face during a firey crash in practice last week. De Silvestro was fortunate enough to be cleared to drive two days later, but her Indy run ended early. De Silvestro, who hit the wall in Turn 1 and bent the upright and the suspension on her No. 78 Nuclear Clear Air Energy/HVM Racing car, only ran 44 laps and finished 31st. Her car had to be pushed down pit lane and toward Gasoline Alley. go to website bowers and wilkins

Losing wheels IndyCar series points leader Will Power lost a rear left tire after a pit stop on lap 20.

Power pitted on the race?ˆ™s first caution, but when he pulled out of his pit stall the tire flew off. Power had to circle the track before re-entering pit road while his car threw off sparks near the tireless left rear brake.

On lap 62, rookie Jay Howard lost his right rear tire in the warm-up lane near Turn 2 leaving pit road. That brought out the race?ˆ™s third caution.

Bowling Green, Ky., tobacco farmers begin last season of burley auction sales.

Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News November 17, 2004 By Robyn L. Minor, The Daily News, Bowling Green, Ky. Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News Nov. 17–Today began what is the last season of a Bowling Green tradition — burley auction sales.

Brannen’s Warehouse No. 6 had farmers milling about, speculating what will happen and how long it will take to get the tobacco buyout in place.

Congress approved a plan in October that will eliminate the price support and quota system, with sales being contracted directly with tobacco companies.

There wasn’t a lot of optimism among farmers about the future of tobacco, with or without the quota system.

“There is not a lot we can do about,” said James C. Rose, a Warren Countian who has been growing tobacco for 40 years. “I probably won’t grow any more after this. I’m 76 and it’s time to quit.” Rose was leaning on a bale of tobacco with his friend, Paul Wayne Martin, as the auction was going on several aisles away. Martin, also from Warren County, brought about 12,000 pounds to the floor for sale and sold about 2,000 pounds on contract. The contract price was about $2 a pound. bowlinggreenkynow.net bowling green ky

“After this sale season is over, that will go way down,” Martin said.

He and Rose speculated that the average in the future will be between $1.30 a pound to $1.50.

“At $1.50 you can make a little money, but if it goes any lower than that, you can’t,” Martin said.

The auction market has already lost its luster for Robert Mathews of Alvaton, who joined the two farmers.

This is the second year buyers used mini-computers to punch in the price they are willing to pay for tobacco — from $1.95 to $2.10 a pound early in the sale today. There is none of the traditional auctioneer yodeling going on.

“It’s about as exciting as watching paint dry,” said Mathews, who grew about 15,000 pounds of tobacco. After growing tobacco for about 40 years, he said he’s finished.

One of the youngest farmers there, Daniel Grimes, 19, said his family also hasn’t decided if it will continue to grow tobacco after this season.

“We might if we have to,” said Grimes, whose family has just a little more than 3,000 pounds in 1.25 acres.

His grandfather, Fred Grimes, said the family used to grow as much as 10 acres.

The elder Grimes hasn’t been in tobacco for about five years because of heart problems. He was a little sentimental about the sale.

“I kind of hate to see it go,” he said.

Sales opened earlier elsewhere in the state.

On Monday, a Lexington warehouse got as much as $2.10 a pound, with most averaging $1.99. About 210,000 pounds went into the surplus pool, something that will no longer exist when the government program ends.

Kentucky growers sold 2.24 million pounds of leaf Monday for $4.48 million, an average of $199.66 per hundredweight, according to the Federal-State Market News Service. this web site bowling green ky

While farmers likely won’t get as much for the tobacco selling directly to manufacturers, their costs will be somewhat reduced. Farmers will no longer have to pay to rent tobacco quotas from other farmers. In the buyout farmers who also own their quota will receive $10 a pound. Farmers who rent quotas will get $3 a pound; those who own the quotas will get $7 a pound and farmers who own quotas and grow tobacco will get the full $10.

Bowling Green’s auction sales had already dwindled last season to just a few days, with many farmers already choosing the contract sales route. This season the sales will be today, Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and 15.

Manager Jamie Brannen said he’s not sure what’s in store for the tobacco warehouse’s future.

He said his family will try to somehow remain in the tobacco business. What used to be one of the area’s largest auction houses owned by the Bale family in Barren County is now a weigh station for tobacco companies that purchase tobacco from farmers on contracts.

Donald Dunn, director of the Farm Service Agency in Warren County, said his office still is waiting to hear how and when the buyout will begin.

The Associated Press contributed information for this article.

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  1. sales training seminars -  May 23, 2013 - 11:29 pm

    Spot on with this write-up, I actually think this site needs much
    more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

  2. y4 -  October 24, 2012 - 5:13 pm

    How is Arial easy-to-read when it’s all scrunched up with barely any spacing between letters? Can you tell capital I from lowercase l?

    And how is Comic Sans hard-to-read when multiple studies, including this one, claim that reading in this font improves learning, memory and readability?

    Seems like putting the cart before the horse, mainly due to stigma or fear of being associated with a less professional typeface. Just embrace the fact that Comic Sans is popular because it’s attractive and well-design (i.e. each character is distinct, e.g. you can I from l, and rounded nicely), and not because people claim it’s hideous based on unfounded prejudice.

  3. Fontimus Prime « _ByrneType -  February 19, 2012 - 9:57 pm

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  4. Emilino Emloile -  November 5, 2011 - 3:08 pm

    Being rather obsessed with fonts (just two years ago I would go around naming fonts found on bulletins, signs and books–now I have slightly matured and rarely reveal my inner font-natic) this article very much entertained and interested me. I will remember this! Thank you.

  5. Lala -  November 3, 2011 - 1:57 am

    Quite Interesting
    This could help many people memorise things better!!!

    >_< Lala

  6. Sonya -  November 1, 2011 - 9:39 pm

    Where was this when my brother was in school?

  7. blackntan -  November 1, 2011 - 7:56 pm

    @ MORGAN
    that saying has nothing to do with this article. really.
    and FUNKY used to mean the smell after sex. be mindful of the way you use your words, dictionary.com.

  8. FONTSFORDYSLEXICS | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  November 1, 2011 - 12:24 pm

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  9. Garret -  November 1, 2011 - 11:34 am

    I’d love to see a more in-depth study performed by actual typographers. Fundamentally, Bodoni and Comic Sans aren’t “funky;” just a different style than most are used to seeing – we see Helvetica, Times & Verdana a lot more.

    It’s fairly well-known that any time you interrupt the standard, you’re going to have a better time being remembered – that’s why companies have logos with deliberate idiosyncrasies, or why it’s recommended to not use the default Word font for your resume.

    In addition, the study mentioned doesn’t say much about the groups tested; I’d be interested to see how all levels of intellect respond to this premise.

    The brain is a funny animal; I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a particular font or style that is more memorable… It’d certainly be an interesting study!

  10. Catherine -  November 1, 2011 - 8:54 am

    Huh. Never knew that. I’ll have to try that myself. That’s interesting!! :D

  11. Vikhaari -  November 1, 2011 - 8:15 am

    The harder the material, that is to be learned, the longer it is taking time to understand and above all, good news, surely, is the longest it retained! Something to know, learn and think about.
    Enjoyed the piece very much.

  12. Lauren -  October 31, 2011 - 5:06 pm

    All these smart-people comments make me nervous. Not that I’m not smart. I’m an A+ student. It’s just that I change fonts based on my feelings.

  13. Lauren -  October 31, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    So are you saying typing my reports in Comic Sans MC will make my teachers understand it better? Because my teachers say we have to use 12 Arial for all our reports. Plus, did they just randomly send people a email? Or did they fill out a survey or something?

  14. Gunner McGoldBaggel -  June 6, 2011 - 6:01 pm

    I have seen the anti- Comic Sans MS commentaries before and they don’t make sense to me. Comic sans is as easy to read as most standard serif fonts (Times, Goudy, Century Schoolbook, Garamond, etc.) and much easier to read than many Grotesque (Sans-Serif fonts; Ariel, Helvetica, Tahoma, Futura, Franklin Gothic, et al) especially in all capital letters.
    For emails Comic Sans MS is my standard font and I find it easier to read, and a bit more fun. But then I also like fonts with personality a couple of examples; Carolingia and Calligraphy FLF, (but they can be difficult to read in less than 14 point).
    Perhaps the point is that the creative personality types like fonts with personality, grace and style while the bureaucratic types that want to control how everyone thinks and reduce society to its most generic forms – don’t.

  15. Gophe Qerselph -  March 31, 2011 - 10:42 am

    Malcolm H. Beaufort, if that really is your name…

  16. Rock Sans - Obama is a Sleeper Muslim -  February 15, 2011 - 4:57 am

    Even though WikiLeaks sucks HUGE monkey balls for leaking stuff that puts our brave troops (and the American Troops & all of the other country’s soldiers as well as the brave citizens of Irackq — the decent people that don’t make their womenz wear bags over their heads — the same ones who have given our troops info on insurgents, ieds etc) in harms way, etc and had done something way worse —by revealing the UK’s ENTIRE NUCLEAR WEAPONS SYSTEM DETAILS! By giving the Russians the detailed Nuclear Arsenal and Detailed Defense Planning information that our Kenyan born Muslim — Communist-in-Chief had just given his handlers, the sleeping bear (the “hibernating” Russians), the BRITS are in Grave danger.

    The Allbino Asange HAS done something good (probably the only good thing) by releasing the documents that prove that Spanky-Hussein Obama gave it all up to his Muslim “brothers-in-arms”. He is not the Manchurian Candidate. He is not any form of candidate… he is the WINNER! He has managed to infiltrate the Whitehouse of the USA and converted it to a mosque.

    When will the Americans get Sharia Law implemented like we are about to have done here in France? There are some pretty intense Feminazis over there that won’t really take to wearing burkas (ie: bags to put over the heads of Muslim womenz to cover up their facial hair and general ugliness). Praise Allah. The ruler of the sword. The intolerant leader of a bloody religion. Heck, they won’t even let anyone draw a picture of their pedophile leader dude!

    Malcolm H. Beaufort

  17. Cecile -  February 13, 2011 - 12:33 pm

    @Daniel, you are right about fonts. Serifs move the eye along–that’s why headlines are sans serif –termed *funky* in the article–while newspaper articles are serif, as are schoolbooks. Readability studies have been done, and much better designed that the cases cited. You need a control group and the ability to replicate results for a study’s results to be valid.

    Century schoolbook is considered very readable because that’s one we’ve been seeing since we began to read. The issue of spacing between characters is also critical–we actually see the white not the dark areas to read. Poorly spaced words–such as with a monospaced font like typewritten copy–can lead to headaches and lack of attention. This “one space fits all” reduces readability more than the font.

    One problem with the studies is the fonts they cite–Ariel and Comic Sans MS (for sans serif or without the little parts reminiscent of writing with a quill pen) are both sans serif fonts. Bodini (or the actual font Bodoni MT; there is no Bodini MT), is a serif font, and therefore more readable. So, to design a study to compare readability they would use one sans serif group and one serif group, not mix them.

    “Funky” is a value-laden word that can’t be well defined enough to select fonts. Just as we have trouble defining art—I don’t know what it is but I like it–we have difficulties in defining what’s good or not about a font. I recommend the film Helvetica for those who want to go deeper into fonts, readability, and remembering.

  18. Andre -  February 10, 2011 - 7:14 am

    When it comes to long passages of paragraph formatted text (like a book), my guess is that you all would give up on Comic Sans. Try changing your browser’s default font or setup a custom style sheet. The cognitive disruption the author mentions is the more interesting subject here.

    Also, NONE of these are proper typefaces. Each were designed for the screen by Microsoft. Arial is a rip off, ugly stepchild of Helvetica—in the details. Comic Sans is an original. I am not sure how faithful Bodoni MT is to Bodoni, but it is a knockoff.

  19. Mike100 -  February 9, 2011 - 8:56 am

    You say 86.5 percent of the those who used the hard-read lists got the questions right. What was the percentage of those who got it right using the easier lists?

  20. crystal -  February 8, 2011 - 5:30 pm


  21. sat -  February 4, 2011 - 7:41 pm

    Reading the comments in this thread has been fascinating. I like the line of reasoning discussed regarding the visual components of typically non-visual learning tasks, considering the proposition that some level of cognitive disruption may (citations pending) serve to enhance learning efficiency.

    A tributary discussion more specifically concerns design’s concrete role in the thinking/processing process. I’m a little curious about Comic Sans’ presumed badness of design, how objective such a determination can really be, for all the authority of specialist terminology– but I’m not really preoccupied with this consideration.

    What seems more interesting to me is the consideration of materiality in the learning process– where the vehicle self-proclaims, defies translucency, and (maybe) provokes a heightened mental acuity– or at least a refreshed communicative experience.

  22. Zupa -  February 1, 2011 - 11:05 am

    I wouldn’t be able to remember things from a Comic Sans text simply because I would refuse to read it.

  23. Julie -  January 31, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    so cool for homework :o ;]

  24. Bryan -  January 30, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    The font makes it more interesting therefore requesting, no requireing, no forcing you to focus on what the text is saying

  25. Joy Corcoran -  January 30, 2011 - 1:09 pm

    Does this mean my sloppy hard to read handwritten notes actually have more impact than my neatly typed legible emails? Hmmm…..

  26. P Burr -  January 30, 2011 - 1:04 pm

    I cannot imagine why anyone would think Comic Sans MS is considered difficult-to-read. I am relieved that other readers had the same reaction! This is the font I use when I have to make a scripted speech and want to be able to see it easily.

  27. Wordy -  January 30, 2011 - 12:08 pm

    I wish this forum had edit tools.

  28. Wordy -  January 30, 2011 - 12:05 pm

    The author really should have told us where these studies were published so we could investigate further. I looked at PubMed, but couldn’t anything about fonts & memory. However, there are many articles about the use of comic book formats to help people absorb complex information, like science, health, socilogy, linguistics, etc (no specific mention of any fonts was made in the abstracts).

    In college, decades ago, I took copious notes to help me to keep focused on the instructors. I also filled the notebook pages with doodles. During tests, I, too, could recall where the info was and bring up the whole page to memory like a photograph – I could literally “read” the answer from my memory.

    In my case, I think the act of taking detailed notes, translating the instructor’s spoken word into my own graphic handwriting, and further embellishing with the doodles, brought all kinds of alternate, more visual brain pathways into play. It seems to me that increased memory was a result of the combination of a sharper focus in class and those increased brain pathways. Sadly this is a skill that I have managed to unmaster. I can still recall some of those specific doodles, but I can’t picture the whole pages anymore.

    So, yes, I can see where reading in an unusual font would force an increased focus and carve out a stronger visual memory than otherwise.

    To those of you who think reading in Comic Sans is so easy, take any long, infomation intense paragraph from a scientic paper, college textbook, or academic journal and copy-paste it, then change the font. Not the same as reading a one-sentence “paragraph” from a comic book, eh?

    Someone said above that using funky fonts was inherently bad design. I don’t understand why the poster’s rationale and disagree.

    The key could be to mix it up and perhaps call out key points in funky fonts / color changes / textboxes / set off with large quotation marks – that kind of thing.

  29. type guy -  January 30, 2011 - 12:05 pm

    But what I want to know is… how is Bodini (Bodoni) considered “funky?”

  30. Bontastic -  January 30, 2011 - 12:04 pm

    @Daniel, agreed. Furthermore, 28 and 222 volunteers are not statistically significant samples. Did they all have the same learning style? Were they all in the same IQ range or was there a variety? I think this article proves nothing as the study design, as described here, seems flawed. I’m disappointed; I was hoping to learn something new and interesting, especially because I love fonts.

  31. Anonymous -  January 30, 2011 - 11:30 am

    If you really think that Bodoni MT is useful for memorizing words, then change the font of this website!!!

  32. Lilliana -  January 30, 2011 - 11:04 am

    It’s fun to write in different fonts :) :( ;) ;(

  33. Josaphine -  January 30, 2011 - 11:03 am

    This article is quite truthful. Although, maybe if they would have put it in a more interesting font… more people would read it.

  34. Steph -  January 30, 2011 - 9:53 am

    @ tts: The death of English grammar, apparently…

    I think Comic Sans is listed as difficult-to-read only because it gets such a bad rap. It’s so often called unprofessional that no one wants to use it–and then, when they do, they get told how awful a font it is to use.

    That said, from a design perspective, if you want something easy to read on a website, sans-serif fonts are the way to go. Serif fonts are usually better for print, because I read somewhere that the serifs help connect the letters and thus the eye flows easily from one word to another.

  35. Lizhette -  January 30, 2011 - 9:50 am

    I don’t think you can blanket-statement this as being true or false. There are different study tools that work to varying degrees of success for everyone individually. Personally, the font thing works – if I type notes or something to memorize, putting it in multiple fonts & in multiple colors helps me to memorize things (I did this with Puck’s soliloquy at the end of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it didn’t take me more than an hour or two to memorize it) – but I’m sure for other people it would totally throw them off. All my course notes are in different colors, generally related via synesthesia (because journalism is a purple word, etc.), and that helps me remember what information pertains to what class. But I know a lot of people who take all their notes in black ink and do just fine.

    And I definitely don’t think changing a massive amount of text (like a textbook) into a more difficult font would do the trick. Like someone else said, people would just get used to seeing that font and it would be pointless. I think, if this were something that would work for a lot of people, it would have to be done on their end (the study-guide side) than on the part of the source material.

  36. Sammie -  January 30, 2011 - 7:18 am

    omg!crazy fonts are driving me crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  37. Sammie -  January 30, 2011 - 7:15 am


  38. Sauza3gs -  January 30, 2011 - 4:50 am

    “Those who read about the aliens in an easy-to-read font (16-point Arial pure black) answered correctly 72.8 percent of the time, compared to 86.5 percent of those who reviewed the material in hard-to-read fonts (12-point Comic Sans MS or Bodoni MT in a lighter shade). ” excerpted from the article in the Princeton News.
    I hope this helps!

  39. [...] Now I need to see about re-formatting my handouts — currently with the most readable fonts possible — to use ones that are more difficult to decipher: Do funky fonts actually help you remember? | The Hot Word [...]

  40. bob -  January 30, 2011 - 3:14 am


  41. randomchickk -  January 30, 2011 - 1:38 am

    cool! :)

  42. Mr Dragut -  January 29, 2011 - 11:48 pm

    After some after research of my own, I have thought up a hypothesis which is this: A student who is not fully committed to his work gets mentally encouraged when he see’s funky language which is supposed to be “cool” in his view.

  43. lalaland -  January 29, 2011 - 8:33 pm

    all that weird crap is kinda freaky…funky fonts??

  44. serena -  January 29, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    i dont really understand but im interested

  45. beka -  January 29, 2011 - 6:29 pm


  46. tts -  January 29, 2011 - 3:48 pm

    wat r u peeps talkin about!!!????

  47. Proud to be a Muslim -  January 29, 2011 - 3:41 pm

    Thanl-you for posting this! I was in the middle of studying for a test and started to read this. I used this tip and now I don’t have to study much longer at all. This is an awesome study tool!

  48. swiss boy -  January 29, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    this is swiss boy!i think the word “funky” should be band its a dumb retard word.

  49. Bonjour La Nerds -  January 29, 2011 - 3:16 pm


  50. Bonjour La Nerds -  January 29, 2011 - 3:15 pm

    I agree with KIKI DA KIKI! Who needs to memorize something with crazy fonts? Plus, do what ya want! Live it up!

  51. Sammy -  January 29, 2011 - 1:19 pm

    btw…this article is pretty weird… :D

  52. Sammy -  January 29, 2011 - 1:18 pm

    i use comic sans MS often. i also use arial.

  53. unknown -  January 29, 2011 - 12:02 pm


  54. Cyberquill -  January 29, 2011 - 12:01 pm

    That’s why information posted on people’s old MySpace profiles was usually easier to retain than the information currently posted on Facebook.

    Provided, of course, that upon accessing someone’s old MySpace profile, one didn’t exit immediately because what with all the different fonts, colors, and other customizations, these profiles were such a mess that they certainly failed to invite most visitors to linger and gather difficult-to-find-and-read information which, had they persisted, would have stuck in their minds much longer than the data currently on display on people’s crisp and clean Facebook profiles.

  55. Katie -  January 29, 2011 - 11:26 am

    I would like to know the retention rate of the alien species experiment for the easy-to-read fonts so I can better assess the difference.

  56. Lisa -  January 29, 2011 - 9:33 am

    though ive never heard this, it actually makes alot of sense… unlike school and stuff

  57. RG -  January 29, 2011 - 9:33 am

    What about learning with pictures? I was always in trouble in school for doodling in the margins of my textbooks, but it made learning a lot easier when I took “notes” that way. To help my kids with their vocabulary words I drew a picture along with the word on their flash cards, and it seemed to help a lot for them to grasp the meaning of the word and also to remember how to spell it.

  58. Speech-Language Pathologist -  January 29, 2011 - 9:19 am

    As a speech-language pathologist, I find it difficult to believe that people with dysfluency have an easier time learning how to use speech fluency strategies outside of therapy. It takes tremendous effort for someone with severe stuttering to use these techniques because not only do they have to concentrate on what they want to say, they also have to think about how to say it simultaneously. That is extremely difficult and many stutterers, never master this and stop trying, unfortunately. As far as learning in general, I would like to know which studies prove that stuttering enhances learning. I would like to know exactly how big was the sample, was there a control group, who conducted it, etc.

  59. Eto Demerzel -  January 29, 2011 - 8:32 am

    To me, nothing substantial can ever come out of these kind of studies. If that weren’t true, why would conductors of these experiments never forget to mention in the end “More data is needed, before we could reach at a firm conclusion.”

  60. Joe -  January 29, 2011 - 8:03 am

    is comis sans really that hard to read? i think it is perfectly fine.

  61. Sam -  January 29, 2011 - 7:01 am

    It’s true, adverse situations force people to focus more, therefore retain more information. I remember there was a study that found that students performed better after studying with obnoxious music vs those who studied in quiet spaces.

    With that being said, however, I think Comic Sans is just as easy to read as Arial. Perhaps another reason people who read the “funky fonts” performed better is because they stand out from the norm. If this is the case, once these become the standard, they will too lose their memory-enhancing effect.

  62. smoothius -  January 29, 2011 - 6:55 am

    funky fonts, haha, thats funny. say it a few times back to back ignoring the meaning. sounds like something you’d hear in an elementary school playground being used to torture the goofy kid.

    do they use funky fonts on the signpost to funky town?

  63. COMICSANSFONT | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  January 29, 2011 - 6:03 am

    [...] Rhyme Sans Brain. — Once again we’re reminded — how much there is to learn. — With so many scientific studies; — we’re humbled greatly. — We can feel the burn. — Play that funky music, comic. — Bring on da noise Bring on Immanuel Kant. — Is there comprehension from reading? — A difficult task sans font. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  64. Anon -  January 29, 2011 - 5:34 am

    comic sans hard to read? Give me a break! I’ve never had a hard time reading that font. It was my favorite as a child because the rounded letters just looked so much more friendly and less intimidating than the straight-jacket times new roman.

  65. Jake -  January 29, 2011 - 3:56 am

    That may make you brain damaged. I would have it looked at. Algebra? come on!

  66. Holidaygurl -  January 29, 2011 - 2:41 am

    That’s interesting. I actually prefer funky fonts when I do projects. It’s much more interesting to read a project with funky fonts.

  67. Daniel -  January 29, 2011 - 1:21 am

    I agree that the statistics for the “normal fonts” should be shown as well to make a better assessment, but all in all it makes sense. However, at least from a design perspective, you can make something more challenging, whether in written text, imagery, or idea, without using a horribly designed typeface. In addition, Bodoni MT (unless they really meant Bodini, which is a similar style) is not a difficult or funky typeface. Actually the opposite is true, the serifs are designed to help legibility especially in smaller type. So I think in all honesty that these researchers need to do more tests and get advice from actual designers and typographers. What this article seems to be promoting is bad design and typography to help memory, which may or may not be true, but definitely would not be the right way – if the point is to make reading more challenging so that the information is retained.

    Two key things should be asked here: Are people retaining the information because it is badly designed and hard to read, or is it simply because it is something different. If this is the case, simply changing all text books to Comic Sans is not going to work – all it will do is make students become accustomed to reading Comic Sans. The second thing that should be tested and actually studied is legitimately badly designed typefaces that don’t have proper spacing and character weights, thus making it more difficult to read versus handwritten and novelty fonts.

    The claims made in this article really bring up more questions than answers. I think that all of the research information should be published, or that they should have more thorough research and more variations of safety groups before publishing anything and making any claims.

    Similarly to what these study suggests is the idea of branding, part of why we remember and recognize these brands is because they are different, and unique. Different is good. Challenging is good, but neither of these promote or suggest that bad design is what is going to help people learn – in fact I believe it is quite the opposite.

  68. Cole -  January 29, 2011 - 12:42 am

    This makes sense. I used to Public Speak competitively and I always memorized my speeches, which were around five minutes in length. I found that when I read the speech out loud using a strange voice, such as a ridiculously bad version of a Cockney accent or as impression of Disney’s Stich I memorized the speech faster, mostly because it distinguished itself from my everyday conversations by sounding different in a memorable fashion.

    It makes sense that the same principles would apply in visual based learning as well.

  69. JASON -  January 29, 2011 - 12:01 am


  70. JASON -  January 29, 2011 - 12:01 am

    THX for this awesome source

  71. JASON -  January 29, 2011 - 12:00 am


  72. Rahzmahm -  January 28, 2011 - 9:35 pm

    Timely blog! I just finished a university course on technology. A module involved making newsletters. The most memorable samples were those that displayed the simplest fonts like Arial and Comic Sans!

  73. fairyfluttering -  January 28, 2011 - 9:10 pm

    I study flashcards with different colors because when I try to remember the information on a test I can remember the color it’s in and then my mind remembers a particular thing about how I wrote the word. From there I can remember everything on the card. I have a pretty good memory for pictures, so I think fonts would help too. I’ll try it next time I make cards for a test.

  74. rrrr -  January 28, 2011 - 8:59 pm

    so true… that could be the reason, that some people prefer learning from their handwritten notes , instead of books.

  75. Mr. Raymond Kenneth Petry -  January 28, 2011 - 7:56 pm

    1. Said, Comic Sans MS, looks like writing-on-a-chalkboard in school, So, I used it for my science articles….

    2. Rereading an article in a different font and color, can help spot typographical concerns….

  76. Angela -  January 28, 2011 - 7:44 pm

    I just want to point out that this article doesn’t mention, for the first study, what percentage of the people who read from “easy to read” lists answered the questions right. They may have scored higher, but is it significantly higher?

  77. Alex -  January 28, 2011 - 6:30 pm

    You’re trying to tell me that if my science textbook was in Comic Sans MS, I would understand and learn more? I’m all for it! It would be fun (for a week or so) reading the book just because it’s different.

    Not to mention those boring novels for English class…

  78. Arianwen -  January 28, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    It makes sense, but not because of a particular font. If you’re reading in a language which is not your first, you will absorb more information than a native speaker simply because you need to pay more attention. The same goes for fonts — someone who’s used to reading Comic Sans won’t do any better than usual. Easy stuff is boring. So you forget it.

  79. Anonymous -  January 28, 2011 - 5:02 pm

    @Morgan: Um, what?

  80. Charlotte -  January 28, 2011 - 4:31 pm

    “Conventional wisdom tells us that the easier it is to learn something, the easier it will be to remember.”

    I’d certainly never heard that. In Algebra, I understand everything and remember nothing. ;)

  81. Kelly -  January 28, 2011 - 4:23 pm

    If reading something in Comic Sans MS makes it easier to remember… it’s too awful to think of the consequences. However, they don’t mention what the rate of retention was for the easy-to-read fonts so we don’t know how great the difference is.

  82. Bob the Pirate -  January 28, 2011 - 4:20 pm

    May I suggest that the font, since it is not easy to read, increases the amount of concentration need to read it? Thus, when you read it you are concentrating more on what you are reading.

  83. Morgan -  January 28, 2011 - 4:17 pm

    First is the worst, second is the best…

  84. sherryyu -  January 28, 2011 - 4:05 pm

    no of crouse not this blog is worng for positie reasons :p

  85. ag -  January 28, 2011 - 4:00 pm

    It’s actually true.. Its like training your brain to perform difficult tasks such as reading fonts in a different style. extra effort to gain extra mile… =)

  86. Horses luv -  January 28, 2011 - 3:58 pm

    I can’t make any sense of this at all.

  87. Anonymous -  January 28, 2011 - 3:15 pm

    Hmm, I may or may NOT be the first person to comment here…


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