I love listening to Marc Maron’s comedy podcast, WTF. I think he's a gifted interviewer and he speaks with a lot of different types of people in the entertainment industry, not just standup comics. This week, he talks to The Fonz, Henry Winkler. I was enjoying the interview and quickly getting accustomed to Henry Winkler’s unusual speech pattern when my ears really pricked up. Mr. Winkler was talking about his wonderful children’s book series, Hank Zipzer. If you don't know this series, it is about the adventures of a boy with learning differences. He writes the books with his co-author, Lin Oliver.
In the course of talking about the series, Mr. Winkler’s description veers in an unusual direction. He starts to talk about the series’ font and how it was designed specifically for those with dyslexia. I don’t often hear writers talk about the font that is used in their books so I was intrigued. It turns out that the font was designed by a Dutch designer — Christian Boer — as his senior project (in high school!). Because dyslexics mirror their letters, Mr. Boar created different styles for the letterforms that are commonly flopped. For instance, the lowercase “p” and “q” are weighted differently. The slant of the letter plays a large part as well.
Take a look at this TED talk where Mr. Boar goes into greater detail about dyslexia and his process.