Why teach young children about fonts?

Introducing your children to the fantastical world of fonts will give them a head start towards a future career in the creative industries.

My 11-year-old nephew Eddie was excited to see me last Christmas because he wanted to talk about fonts. Hed started to learn about the topic at school and had lots of brilliant questions like “why are there so many?” The two of us have been hatching plans to create a book together and Ive also been asking lots of other children what they think. My initial proposal had been rejected by a number of mainstream children’s publishers—the main feedback is that “children aren’t interested in fonts”. I disagree with this because the children Ive spoken to are very interested in the topic. In response, Im publishing these books as part of the new Type Tasting Books venture. This is how I published my first book The Type Taster, which is now published by Penguin/Random House as the bestselling Why Fonts Matter.

The book Im writing with Eddies help will take longer to create so the first to be published are part of a series for children age three to six. I think this is a wonderful age to write for because it’s when children are learning to read, so these books become a conversation between the child and the grown-up reading with them. I’ve included lots of touches for grown-ups to appreciate; like the mix tape track listing, spotting where Comic Sans has a walk-on part, and the ‘cast of characters’ that name-checks the typefaces and explains why each was cast in its role.

Children’s books are so typographically expressive. From comic books to cartoons, this is a visual language they’re already very familiar with. What these books do is put the spotlight on the typefaces, making both children and the grown-ups who read with them more aware of the fantastical world of fonts.

The Night the Fonts…

The idea behind the ‘The Night The Fonts…’ book series is that when you close your books and go to sleep at night the fonts come out to play. Sometimes they’re bored and want to be naughty, other times they do stinky and loud farts. Just because children are learning about a serious topic doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun.

The ‘The Night the Fonts…’ series launches in January 2020. ‘The Night the Fonts Farted’ and ‘The Night the Fonts Did Something Naughty’ are £9.99 each and can be purchased online at https://www.typetasting.com/books-children.

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