Over the last years, several studies have suggested a possible link between dyslexia and deficits in low-level visual processing (e.g., excessive crowding). At the same time, specially designed "dyslexia-friendly" fonts appeared on the market. This class of fonts presents two main features: the particular graphic characteristics of the letterform designed to avoid confusion between similarly shaped letters, and wider inter-letter and inter-word spacing to limit crowding. The literature testing the efficacy of "dyslexia-friendly" fonts in improving reading accuracy and increasing reading speed is controversial. We evaluated the impact of letterform (with vs. without dyslexia-friendly graphic features), inter-letter spacing (standard vs. increased), and inter-word spacing (standard vs. increased) on reading accuracy and speed. Two groups of 64 children each, with and without dyslexia, read aloud 8 equivalent texts. The data collected failed to show any effect from the letterform. As regards spacing, the data showed that reading speed is impaired by an increase in inter-letter spacing not combined with an adequate increase in inter-word spacing.
Keywords: Dyslexia; EasyReading; Font; Letter spacing; Reading.