Sans Forgetica – the true font of all knowledge

We’ve talked a lot about how a little cognitive “friction” can aid learning and recall. Now, researchers at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology have produced a font designed exactly for that: Sans Forgetica.

I think I first came across the research through the Harvard Business Review. Here’s a blog post from 2012.

It’s also a theme in Carmen Simon’s excellent book, Impossible to Ignore.

And, of course, it’s well covered in Daniel Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow.

According to The Times, the new font…

…is designed to boost memory retention by disrupting a person’s usual reading patterns. Reading Sans Forgetica requires extra effort, unlike traditional fonts that many readers are able to scan without creating a “memory trace”.

This process, the font’s creators say, boosts engagement with the words and deepens cognitive processing, adhering to the psychological principle of “desirable difficulty”.

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