Ecofont to the Rescue: 8 Typefaces Designed to Serve a Greater Purpose

By Matthew Bower

There are fonts for dyslexics, for schoolkids, and for handwriting-challenged doctors.

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A good typeface goes a long way. Typography nerds will be the first to point out that all typefaces should serve a deliberate purpose, most often integrating text to fit the overall design, to communicate a message as clearly as possible, or to convey a memorable aesthetic. An ill-chosen or careless font can certainly make or break a headline. But sometimes the impact that a font has can also go much further than simple aesthetics and readability.

Font Aid IV: Aster Affects, a design project benefiting relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, represents one way for a font to make a difference. Other examples have shown that readability in a typeface isn't always a good thing. Fonts can have a dramatic cognitive influence, and research has shown that unfamiliar fonts can actually make it easier to retain certain information. Similarly, harder-to-read fonts could possibly make you less of a biased jerk. So, we've rounded up some examples of other typefaces and typological curiosities that have been designed for unconventional purposes.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2012/11/ecofont-to-the-rescue-8-typefaces-designed-to-serve-a-greater-purpose/265239/