Fontosaur: When dinosaur fonts roamed the Earth, a Christmas gift idea for children inspired by then 12-year-old Eddie

My nephew Eddie loves fonts. Those of you joining me for the Sunday Painting with fonts Zoom sessions know him because he joins us most weeks. If you’ve been to my other Zoom events you will know his voice from the Typography Karaoke game.

Last Christmas Eddie had the brilliant idea to make the faces of animals like cat, dog, cow, pig and T-Rex out of the letters of their name.

Typographic animal sketches by Eddie Shelton (dog, cat, T-Rex and pig).

After playing around with the idea I found that dinosaurs worked best because they have such brilliantly long names—all the more letters to construct a creature out of. Once I’d created a few we asked Eddie’s 4-year-old sister Clara to test them out by colouring some in. We were all very happy with the results.

The result is Fontosaur: When dinosaur fonts roamed the Earth. This is a colouring book that’s crammed full of dinosaurs reimagined out of different fonts. Children will have fun learning to recognise letters in different shapes and sizes. They will learn how to spell out the names of their favourite dinosaurs while they colour them in. The book contains 50 fontosaurs to colour in along with activity sheets of fontosaurs to cut out, colour and stick onto a prehistoric landscape.I think this is a wonderful age to write for because it’s when children are learning to read, so my children’s books are designed to start a conversation between the child and the grown-up reading with them. I find that children love fonts. Their books are so typographically expressive—from comic books to cartoons—so this is a visual language they’re already very familiar with.


You can buy a copy freshly printed for you by Amazon’s print-on-demand service. A limited number of copies are available directly from the Type Tasting website as part of a Christmas stocking filler bundle of fontastical books for children. Find out more and buy the book here.