Fonts of wider letter shapes improve letter recognition in parafovea and periphery

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Most text on modern electronic displays is set in fonts of regular letter width. Little is known about whether this is the optimal font width for letter recognition. We tested three variants of the font family Helvetica Neue (Condensed, Standard, and Extended). We ran two separate experiments at different distances and different retinal locations. In Experiment 1, the stimuli were presented in the parafovea at 2° eccentricity; in Experiment 2, the stimuli were presented in the periphery at 9° eccentricity. In both experiments, we employed a short-exposure single-report trigram paradigm in which a string of three letters was presented left or right off-centre. Participants were instructed to report the middle letter while maintaining fixation on the fixation cross. Wider fonts resulted in better recognition and fewer misreadings for neighbouring letters than narrower fonts, which demonstrated that wider letter shapes improve recognition at glance reading in the peripheral visual view.
StatusUdgivet - 2021

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