‘Desirable difficulty’ – RMIT launches font that increases memory retention


RMIT and creative agency Naked have crafted a new font specifically designed to increase memory retention.

‘Sans Forgetica’ is a f1ont crafted by researchers and academics from RMIT’s School of Design and Behavioural Business Lab in conjunction with Naked specifically designed to help students remember typed study notes.

According to Naked, the font was designed using a learning principle known as ‘desirable difficulty’ – where an obstruction is added to the learning process to promote deeper cognitive processing, which in turn results in better memory retention.

sans forgetica breakdown

The font is available for free download and is also being offered as a Google Chrome extension.

“Year 12 students studying for exams have a lot on their plate, so we wanted to find a way to be useful and give them something to actually help their study,” says Naked executive creative director Jon Burden.

“We investigated ways to aid memory and uncovered previous research which gave us our starting point. From there we were able to work with the brilliant people within RMIT to develop, refine and test what became Sans Forgetica.”

Variations of the font were tested with 400 students in laboratory and online experiments. According to RMIT, Sans Forgetica was the most effective in demonstrating an increase in test subject’s memory retention.

The release of the study tool comes at one of the most competitive periods of the year for Australia universities.

Associate director – brand, segments and campaigns at RMIT University Lynda Cavalera comments, “We’ve created a genuinely unique tool that any student can use to help them with their studies, and we’ve done it by bringing together people within the university to put theory into practice.”

Sans Forgetica is being promoted over social channels and an outreach program to Victorian schools. Naked worked with sister Enero agency Orchard as technology partner for the project.

Burden concludes, “It’s a lovely blend of art meeting science; of theory meeting practice. I only wish it was around when I was at school!”

This article first appeared in www.marketingmag.com

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