Partnering to change how the world reads: Expanding Lexend to different weights

Lexend has 9 styles and is a variable font. Lowercase and uppercase letters i, j, o, and q

Google Fonts partnered with CosmosDirekt, a German insurance company, to expand Lexend, a typeface designed by Dr. Bonnie Shaver-Troup for readers with dyslexia and other reading challenges. 

When Philipp Muhlebach, Executive Creative Director of Superunion in Germany, learned about Lexend, he made it the default font in his browser. The new typeface promised to help struggling readers with various spacing options that improved readability. He noticed that Lexend did help him read more quickly and fluently than other fonts. (Reading fluency consists of three components: accuracy, speed, and expression.) 

“I was impressed with Lexend’s mission. It improves reading performance by enhancing the legibility of the words with distinctive letters and numbers. It also combats the challenges faced by millions of people with dyslexia,” said Mühlebach. 

When CosmosDirekt hired Superunion, for a rebranding project, Mühlebach suggested CosmosDirekt use Lexend to reflect the company’s new modern look. He found that the typeface could aptly work for the various types of text the insurance company used: bold and confident banners and display text, and more subtle and serious content. “As Lexend was available through Google Fonts, we knew that it could generate the best performance across multiple digital devices,” said Mühlebach.

Mobile screen with images of a car and home, prices in Euros for car and home insurance

CosmosDirekt mobile applications for car and home insurance

CosmosDirekt wanted to make it easier for customers with reading difficulties to read and understand their materials. “We loved the font and the story behind it all. Insurance language is hard enough to understand. We’re trying to make it all as simple and accessible as possible,” said Jeromy Lohmann, Head of Marketing and Sales at CosmosDirekt.  

However, there was a problem. Lexend was only available as a single weight, Regular 400. CosmosDirekt needed more font weights for its documents, websites, and marketing materials. 

CosmosDirekt partnered with Google Fonts to commission Font Bureau and Superunion to expand Lexend from one to nine weights for the insurer to use in its products and for Google Fonts to offer for anyone to use without charge. The new weights (Thin, Extra Light, Light, Medium, SemiBold, Bold, ExtraBold, and Black) were published on Google Fonts in April 2021.

Since January 2022, CosmosDirekt has been using Lexend online in their website, app, forms, and advertising. The company is going to roll out Lexend in all future communication materials. “Overall our customers are extremely impressed with our new rebranding,” said Lohmann. 

Desktop page with an man in cap taking a picture with his phone while a dog licks his face CosmosDirekt desktop homepage page for animal insurance

For CosmosDirekt, increasing the amount of Lexend offerings wasn’t just about the company’s new look, it was also about social responsibility. “We quickly understood the added value we could offer many people who are faced with reading issues. What is better than using design to improve the lives of many?” stated Lohmann. 

Shaver-Troup sees the Lexend extension as a business model for solving major problems: “What this exceptional collaboration has done to eradicate reading issues will resonate far into the future. Reading problems are often described as a global crisis. However, we need to think about how reading impacts people on an individual level. Having Lexend available in nine font weights gives many individuals the choices they need to find the right font for them.” 

Lexend fonts are available on Google Fonts, in Google Docs and in Google Workspace. Watch this video to see how to add Lexend in Google Docs. To learn more about the creation of Lexend, visit Clean and clear: making reading easier with Lexend.

Posted by Susanna Zaraysky, Google Fonts Content Strategist