saturday, 9 april 2022

is an homage to the Universal Grotesk font—possibly the first geometric sans font. With Uno constucted from its name to echo its firm relationship to Monolexic. :)

Monolexic, having long morphed from its original Atkinson Hyperlegible monospaced heritage—Iosevka Hyperlegible—coincidentally shares Universal Grotesk’s spurless lower case b and u (albeit in reversal, using the toothless-corner versus -rounded b and toothless-rounded versus -corner u—see unolexic adjustments note).

Monolexic’s latest changes incorporated the descending capital J, leaving just one obvious untested descender, Universal Grotesk’s lower case..

descending f

up until now, i have exercised a general aversion towards the descending f, even for italics where it is quite commonly applied—an aesthetic bias from decades of source code font preferences.

E-readers have changed this stance. Instead, i have quickly become a convert of the descending f for reading with Unolexic—the informal flair it imparts adds a typeface with a distinctly different “feel”.

This is due to a combination of its increased legibility (even if uncommon descender) and the accent it adds to the overall page (complementing the more dominant ascenders)—much like the descending capital J, further adding to the distinctiveness of the typeface. Both of these infrequent descenders together soften Monolexic’s more formal presentation and add a pleasing script like flair to the text. YMMV.. fonts being such a personal aesthetic.

i have been reading exclusively with the *Monolexic fonts using the toothed-serifless lower case d set of dyslexic b d p q glyphs. So only two Unolexic typefaces distinguished by the serifless and short-serifed capital I have currently been produced (see dyslexic rankings below).

atkinson hyperlegible

font provides the base character variant glyph set for the Unolexic (similar to the Monolexic) font..

A B C D E F G H I ◌ K L M N O P ◌ R S T U V W X Y Z a ◌ c d e ◌ g h i j k l m n o ◌ q r s t ◌ v w x y z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ) ! ◌ ◌ $ ◌ ^ ◌ * ( , . / ; ' [ ] \ ` - = < > ? : " { } | ~ _ +

with “◌” denoting the characters differing from the Atkinson Hyperlegible glyphs.

unolexic adjustments

add the asymmetric lower case character variants and distinct alternate capital letter glyph choices (better suited to their monospaced cell width)..

◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ J ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ Q ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ b ◌ d ◌ f ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ n ◌ p q ◌ ◌ ◌ u ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ ◌ @ # ◌ % ◌ & ◌ ◌

The lower case d q and n are shown to illustrate the dyslexic asymmetry—which contrasts much more clearly on 300PPi e-ink screens.

Note: Unolexic is now available in an alternate asymmetric lower case b d p q glyph set, adding Universal Grotesk’s toothless-rounded b and replacing the serifed with earless-corner p. This improves the adjacent character air of the p, particularly noticeable at small font sizes whose serif could bump up to the preceding letter.

dyslexic ranking

of the Monolexic and Unolexic typefaces for dyslexia readability from best to less (there is no bad—says bias :) is..

font name capital I lower case d lower case p lower case f
eUnolexic short-serifed toothed-serifless corner** extended
Unolexic serifless toothed-serifless corner** extended
eUnolexic short-serifed toothed-serifless serifed extended
Unolexic serifless toothed-serifless serifed extended
eMonolexic short-serifed toothed-serifless serifed  
Monolexic serifless toothed-serifless serifed  
e_Monolexic short-serifed tailed-serifless serifless  
_Monolexic serifless tailed-serifless serifless  

based on..

  • serifed capital I (distinctiveness) over serifless
  • toothed lower case d (maximal adjacent character air for a high frequency letter) over tailed
  • lower case corner** p (adjacent character air) over serifed
  • extended lower case f (higher legibility, especially at small font sizes)

** Newly added alternate Unolexic asymmetric lower case b d p q glyph set


Historically it all started with e_Monolexic—originally named eMonolexic before this latest re-organization of the font families—which quickly established itself as my default e-reader font (until my “making things better” compulsion asserted itself :). The serifless capital I typeface variant subsequently addressed my predilection towards sans serif fonts.. followed by alternate asymmetrical glyph combinations.

While ranked above, individual dyslexia conditions may find one typeface more effective than another, not to mention personal preferences for a particular glyph variant over another.

From a dyslexia perspective there is little to choose between the Unolexic and Monolexic fonts—the vertical stroke length of the lower case f not altering the general glyph shape itself. Choosing between the two will ultimately be a matter of personal aesthetic.

There is no deficiency in Monolexic that needed addressing AFAIAC. Unolexic instead is its complement. i expect most to lean towards the more familiar and formal Monolexic typeface. Either way, both fonts provide different “feels” for the content one is consuming. YMMV.

So there you have it. Monolexic. Unolexic.

Done! :)

✱  ✱  ✱

this site has also been migrated to Unolexic to illustrate it—though, the best results are to be had on a 300PPI e-reader and their dedicated font engine. Quite honestly, i am of two minds about the font in this browser application. Monolexic feels appropriately formal for the more technical colophon topics, Unolexic for the remainder of the website.

Though, perhaps the more informal flair of Unolexic is a good reminder in this age of uncensored web consumption that the content of this site is the personal perspective of this author only. Nothing more.


the font files and associated build files may be found at..

Kindle Users: Unless you are setting very small font sizes, i suggest you install the Kobo fonts (Monolexic or Unolexic) first for the higher legibility of the lower case hook-tailed q (which matches the Atkinson Hyperlegible glyph). If the glyph’s x-height does not render to one’s liking (it can render a smidge lower at small font sizes), then you can choose to install the Kindle fonts with the more subtle “tailed-q”.

»»  monolexic type

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