Novel Font Provides Satisfactory Reading Experience for Patients With Low Vision

A novel font can improve reading ability in patients with low vision.

A novel font has been developed to meet the needs of individuals with reading impairment, according to research published in Acta Psychologica. While individuals with low vision report a preference for this sans serif font, individuals without vision impairment are less likely to express a preference for the font, the report shows.

Researchers included 145 participants consisting of individuals with low vision (n=73; 45 men and boys; age range, 6-35 years) and control group participants without vision impairment (n=72; 25 men and boys; age range, 6-34 years) in the investigation. Among individuals with impaired vision, pathology was optic nerve-related in 14.6% of participants, retinal in 46% of patients, and located in the anterior segment in 9.4% of patients. A total of 21.6% of participants had nystagmus and 8.1% of patients had an unknown or undetermined pathology. The team stratified study participants into 1 of 4 groups according to grade level reading ability, which included a beginner (grade 1-3), intermediate (grade 4-6), advanced (grade 7-10) and expert (grade 10 and above) group.

The study participants performed near reading tasks using both paper and computer screens. The research team measured eye tracking as participants read 6-sentence texts, with 1 sentence written in the novel font and the other 5 written in various sans serif fonts. Participants also read a series of 48 false words written in the various fonts, and investigators evaluated reading comprehension by asking questions following the completion of the passages.

It has been shown that certain characteristics of fonts can positively influence reading in people with LV.

Overall, 52% of participants indicated their preference for the novel font compared with the other sans serif fonts. Stratified according to reading level, 30.8% of beginners, 47.4% of intermediate readers, 59.3% of advanced readers, and 69.2% of expert readers reported a preference for the font. Among individuals without low vision, 29.2% of participants reported a preference for the novel font, while a majority indicated a preference for the Verdana font. Individuals who were beginning readers without vision impairment reported a preference for the font (45%).

“Text magnification, acuity reserve and contrast reserve are not always sufficient for improving reading for people with [low vision],” according to the researchers. “It has been shown that certain characteristics of fonts can positively influence reading in people with [low vision].”

Study limitations include a heterogeneous sample of low vision types and a protocol that allowed participants to select sizes for the novel font and other print types.


Galiano AR, Augereau-Depoix V, Baltenneck N, Latour L, Drissi H. Luciole, a new font for people with low vision. Acta Psychol (Amst). Published online May 1, 2023. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2023.103926