The Deconstructed Brief

Dyslexia Cafe

Dyslexia Cafe

Brand: Heritage Cafe



Create awareness and empathy for people dealing with dyslexia, which affects an estimated 40 million people in the United States.

One Thought:

See the world through the eyes of dyslexia.



What does it feel like to be dyslexic? The Dyslexia Café dropped customers right into the experience. Menus and signs throughout the café were modified into the kind of typographic gibberish people with dyslexia deal with every day. Simple things like ordering a cup of coffee or going to the bathroom became difficult. The unforgettable experience was created by a team of marketing interns - yes, interns – who worked with Everyone Reading Illinois to create the signs and spread awareness.

What they told ABC:

"The reactions that we've been seeing from people are exactly what we wanted,” said Lauren Dumas, account management intern at Cramer-Krasselt. “It was all about the shock value and really getting people to understand that dyslexia is very common." 

Lessons to be learned:

  • Show. Don’t tell — This is another example of the power of personal experience, which is quickly becoming an area of focus for many major brands. Here, the experience puts a spin on routine things we take for granted, like being able to read a menu. That simple conflict creates a moment that is impossible to forget.
  • Think big — Heritage is a relatively small local business with a mission to improve the community. But their size doesn’t mean they shy away from tackling large challenges like raising awareness of an issue as complex as dyslexia. Big challenges take creative solutions.