Search and software giant Google has just made a new announcement regarding its online productivity suite. The company revealed that it has added a new font family to its Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Most of the time, the addition of a new font family in a productivity app is not a big deal. However, this font family is likely different than most fonts additions in the productivity suite.
Changes in the new Google Docs update
Google claims that this new font family called Lexend will likely increase the reading speed. The company added that it has “explicitly designed” Lexend to increase the reading speeds of the users. Designer Thomas Jockin developed this new, somewhat specialized font family. The company emphasized how this new font in Google Docs update will benefit students in reading the content faster. Digging a bit further, a report by TechCrunch revealed that the front family comprises of eight different variants. The report stated that there is nothing fancy about this new font family. In fact, it is quite similar to what one gets in other san serif fonts.
The report revealed that Jovkin used data from in-depth studies to develop the font family. Most of these studies were based on the research done by Bonnie Shaver-Troup. For context, Bonnie Shaver-Troup founded Lexend back in 2000 and used help from Jovkin to create the digital variable style. Lexend website claims that the font “optimizes individual reading performance matching text format to visual processing speed measured by a fluency test”.
It is also interesting to note that the company tested the results in clinical as well as school-based environments. For instance, two Stanford labs at HP and Microsoft have already discussed on the font. Lexend was already listed in the Apple K-12 Assistive Technology from 2003 to 2005. Adobe has also referenced to the font in its latest research and patents.