Both distance learning and teaching students with 1:1 devices require teachers to create digital products for student consumption. Think of students who have to read and process all those documents, slideshows, and visuals. Do they look visually appealing? Are they easy to read and process?
All this screen reading can be hard on students, especially distance learners. What if adjusting the font can change make the experience easier for the reader?
What is Lexend?
Meet Lexend, a family of fonts developed to improve reading speeds. Looking at the seven Lexend varieties, you may notice two aspects of their design: expansion of character spacing and outline shapes.
To learn more about Lexend fonts and how they help readers, please watch this video.
For more information on Lexend, please go to:
- The Role of Letterforms in Reading Instruction by Brian LaRossa in Design Observer
- Clean and clear: making reading easier with Lexend: A key factor in reading problems might be hiding in plain sight. Learn how changing fonts can change comprehension. (Google Design)
Use Lexend in Google Docs, Drawings, Sheets, and Slides
Google has made Lexend fonts available in Google Docs, Drawings, Sheets, and Slides. Compare the seven varieties by looking at them on Google’s fonts page.
To install Lexend fonts in these G Suite apps, find the font in the toolbar and click “More fonts.”
Search for “Lexend.” Notice the varieties that appear.
Notice how each Lexend variety is slightly different. Check out Lexend Zetta. Those characters are social distancing. They are at least 6 pixels apart.* Does Lexend Deca look familiar? It is eerily similar to the Google font.
Lexend Deca is spaced more than the Google font. Lexend does not skew the “e” at an angle. Besides those two differences, the two fonts are somewhat similar.
For more information on installing Lexend fonts in Docs, Drawings, Sheets, and Slides, please watch this video.
Use Lexend in Google Sites
Soon, teachers will be able to use Lexend fonts in Google Sites. This video demonstrates how to do this.
Use Lexend in Canva
To learn more about using Lexend fonts in Canva, please watch this video.
Use Helperbird to Apply Lexend Fonts to Websites
Helperbird is a Google Chrome extension that allows users to customize the appearance of websites. The free version has many accessibility tools, including changing website font. The Lexend fonts are now in Helperbird. To learn more about using Lexend fonts in Helperbird, please watch this video.
Lexend Suggestions for Teachers
- If your students use Open Dyslexic font with success, do not change that.
- For struggling readers, measure performance across different Lexend varieties to see which is most effective.
- Use different varieties of Lexend fonts in your first few digital products. Get student feedback. Use that to determine which is the most liked but also show students they can change a file’s font to their liking.
What do you think? Will you use Lexend fonts in your digital creations? Please comment below or tweet me, @TomEMullaney.
* = I have no idea if the Lexend Zetta font spaces its characters 6 pixels apart.