Sans Forgetica: Study Mode by RMIT University


★ How to use
Sans Forgetica: Study Mode is easy to use. Simply activate the Chrome extension in your browser, then highlight any on screen text that you wish to retain in memory. Sans Forgetica is best used as a highlighting tool for particular phrases, rather than whole texts.

★ What’s wrong with my regular font?
From its invention, the story of typeface design has been one of technological limitation. Today, however, typography has been unleashed. Digital formats allow us to think and craft beyond the physical restrictions of materials. Never before has it been so easy to craft letterforms that bend to the will of our imaginations.

But research has shown that the clean, smooth typefaces typically used in contemporary computer user interfaces may be less effective in presenting information to the reader. When a piece of information is too easily and cleanly perceived, it fails to engage our brains in the kind of deeper cognitive processing necessary for effective retention and recall.

★ The science behind Sans Forgetica
Sans Forgetica was designed under the scientific guidance of Dr Janneke Blijlevens and Dr Jo Laban from RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab. The font works using principles of psychology, fused with type design, to create a condition known as ‘desirable difficulty’ – obstructions to the learning process that aid the retention and recall of information.

★ The face behind the type
The design of Sans Forgetica was led by RMIT Lecturer of Typography and renowned typographer Stephen Banham. Working in collaboration with RMIT’s Behavioural Business Lab, Stephen developed multiple typefaces at varying degrees of ‘distinctiveness’. The typefaces were then put to the test through a series of memory and fluency tests undertaken by the Behavioural Business Lab. The typeface which showed the best effect on memory retention became ‘ Sans Forgetica’.

★ What next?
To find out more about some of the exciting, collaborative, multidisciplinary projects happening at RMIT University, visit

Sans Forgetica: Study Mode by RMIT University
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