Review: Lexia Readable is for readers of graphic novels, not funny books

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Lexia Readable

    PCWorld Rating

    Designed by K-Type as a visually mature version of Comic Sans, Lexia gives your copy clarity and legibility without the now-cloying whimsy.

Lexia Readable: What happened when Comic Sans grew up. Designed by K-Type as a visually mature version of the comic cliché, Lexia gives your copy clarity and legibility without the now-cloying whimsy.

Lexia Readable and Lexia Bold are available as OpenType, TrueType, and PostScript in the same download. A sans serif typeface, Lexia Readable echos the reasons many literacy professionals like to use Comic Sans: the handwritten lowercase a and g (rather than the letterpress versions); ascenders that equal the cap height, and similarly long descenders; an x-height that is just a hair above the median. These features all make Lexia easy on the eyes—and easy on the brain for early readers and readers with a disability such as dyslexia.

But unlike Comic Sans, Lexia Readable steps it up a notch with asymmetrical lowercase b and d, straightened lines rather than the hand-drawn wobble, and 170 kerning pairs to ensure good spacing and placement.

Keith Bates, designer of Lexia Readable, notes, "Lexia Readable was primarily an attempt at a grown-up Comic Sans that might be more appropriate for use with older readers," he says. "It's an attempt to retain the strength, friendliness and legibility of Comic Sans, and even a slightly marker-drawn feel, whilst tidying up the comic book idiosyncrasies.

"Lexia adds a hint of dignity, a sprinkling of refinement, and introduces elements of designer type to appeal to a contemporary audience." Lexia is designed to be legible, even at small sizes, and looks great down to 8 points. The open lowercase b and p (designed to avoid symmetry and confusion for some readers) make Lexia a poor choice for display purposes—it just looks odd—but it still works, and at least the detail in the uppercase letters adds style that Comic Sans lacks.

Although Lexia Readable tries its hardest to not condescend, still pass this through the suitability filter. While Lexia is great for literacy programs and schools, this font is not appropriate for business letterhead or address labels.

Embedding is installable. Lexia Readable and Lexia Readable Bold are available free for personal use, and also free for use by schools, colleges, other educational establishments, non-profit groups, and charities. The full Lexia typeface (Lexia Bold, Italic, Heavy, Outline) is available for all uses including commercial from K-Type.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Designed by K-Type as a visually mature version of Comic Sans, Lexia gives your copy clarity and legibility without the now-cloying whimsy.

    Pros

    • Ultra-legible
    • Good balance between formal and informal
    • Complete typeface available

    Cons

    • Text only
    • No display version
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