Fonts designed for macular degeneration: Impact on reading

Ying Zi Xiong, Ethan A. Lorsung, John Stephen Mansfield, Charles Bigelow, Gordon E. Legge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


PURPOSE. People with macular degeneration (MD) experience difficulties in reading due to central-field loss. Two new fonts, Eido and Maxular Rx, have been designed specifically for individuals with MD. We have compared reading performance of these new fonts with three mainstream fonts (Times-Roman, Courier, and Helvetica). METHODS. Subjects with MD (n = 19) and normally sighted subjects (n = 40) were tested with digital versions of the MNREAD test using the five fonts. Maximum reading speed (MRS), critical print size (CPS), and reading acuity (RA) were estimated to characterize reading performance. Physical properties of the fonts were quantified by interletter spacing and perimetric complexity. RESULTS. Reading with MD showed font differences in MRS, CPS, and RA. Compared with Helvetica and Times, Maxular Rx permitted both smaller CPS and RA, and Eido permitted smaller RA. However, the two new fonts presented no advantage over Courier. Spacing, but not Complexity, was a significant predictor of reading performance for subjects with MD. CONCLUSIONS. The two fonts, designed specifically for MD, permit smaller print to be read, but provide no advantage over Courier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4182-4189
Number of pages8
JournalInvestigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science
Issue number10
StatePublished - Aug 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Supported by National Institutes of Health Grant EY002934. Disclosure: Y.-Z. Xiong, None; E.A. Lorsung, None; J.S. Mansfield, Precision Vision (R), P; C. Bigelow, None; G.E. Legge, Precision Vision (R), P

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Authors.


  • Font
  • Macular degeneration
  • Reading


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