The appearance and rhythm of fonts plays a critical role in the acquisition of meaning during reading. Readability is the ease with which visual symbols (such as letters) are decoded. This all starts with the way words are perceived.

To learn more about legibility, additional information is needed to know how the visual system reacts to letters (lines formed within a word) and typography (lines formed within a text) in terms of spatial frequencies and visual comfort. The comparison between partially sighted and normal sighted people is indispensable in order to better understand the specificities of the target group. In her dissertation, Ann Bessemans already systematically explored different design parameters to improve the decoding skills of visually impaired children (as well as children with normal vision). The main objective of the new projects within this research line is to elaborate the relationship between rhythm heterogeneity influencing stripe patterns / spatial frequencies, (visual) comfort and readability.

READSEARCH will open new pathways to improve readability in printed matter for regular readers as well as those struggling and/or impaired.

Prof. Dr. Ann Bessemans
Marta Guidotti