Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Understanding Dyslexia - Christian Boer at PINC.13

Interesting story from Dutch font designer Christian Boer at PINC 13, a one day inspiration conference in Zeist, (middle of nowhere), the Netherlands. Christian has designed a font to help dyslexic people - he has the same problem himself. He explained at PINC why people with dyslexia have so much trouble distinguishing letters and what can be done to make it so much easier for readers. His company is selling and licensing the font from his website.  I see a Danish company has put the font into an iPad app.

It's a pity their video has no sound. The text is also a bit too much of a direct translation from Dutch. But use of the typeface costs 69 Euro - so may be should not complain.

The other challenge is that in most countries you cannot copyright a typeface. Generally, copyright law in the U.S.does not protect typefaces. Fonts may be protected as long as the font qualifies as computer software or a program (and in fact, most fonts are programs or software). Bitmapped fonts are considered to be computerized representations of a typeface (and are not protected by copyright law). On the other hand, scalable fonts (because they are incorporated as part of a program or software) are protected by copyright. This means that copyright law (at least in the U.S.) protects only the font software, not the artistic design of the typeface. More info on that part of the challenge here.

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