Sans Forgetica's infamous mnemonic font turned out to be useless for improving memory

In 2018, a group of Australian scholars developed a new typeface called Sans Forgetica, which was noticeably harder to read than conventional typefaces. This was done on purpose, to test the concept of "desired difficulty", according to which information obtained with great difficulty is more reliably remembered. However, two years later, New Zealand scientists stated that the Sans Forgetica font was not suitable as a tool for training memory.

The idea of ​​the authors of Sans Forgetica was that students should not just scan the text with their eyes, but spend a certain amount of time and effort on its recognition. And thus they concentrated on what they read. They claimed to have run tests on 400 students and they showed a 57% text memorability in Sans Forgetica, versus 50% for common fonts. But other researchers immediately had doubts about the reliability of the test.

Already 800 people took part in the new experiment, it was carried out in four stages and according to a more thorough method. In particular, it was not abstract text that was compared, but complex and specific terms and word combinations written in Arial and Sans Forgetica. All four tests showed that the level of memorization depended more on the information itself than on the font in which it was written.

At the same time, New Zealand scholars have confirmed that the Sans Forgetica typeface really complicates the reading process. It is unlikely that this develops something other than perseverance, and therefore the benefits of the novelty are somewhat doubtful. More precisely, it is of interest in general, but not as a pedagogical tool.