Fontosaur: When dinosaur fonts roamed the Earth
A colouring book written and illustrated by Sarah Hyndman
Buy the book here www.typetasting.com/books
This is the first in a new series of books that combine dinosaurs with fonts. It began when Sarah’s 12-year-old nephew 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. Sarah and Eddie are now working on a collaborative sequel together.
Typographic animal sketches by Eddie Shelton (dog, cat, T-Rex and pig).
The idea to make a typographic book just about dinosaurs came about when a friend’s three-year-old son Blake unwrapped Sarah’s The Night the Fonts… books at Christmas and was disappointed because he really, really wanted a book about dinosaurs. Sarah says “I felt very sad that he was disappointed by the books even though they were full of farting and burping fonts and so I took up the challenge to make a book that he would love”.
The result is Fontosaur: When dinosaur fonts roamed the Earth, which is a book crammed full of dinosaurs reimagined as 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.
The first edition is in the form of a colouring book published and printed via Amazon’s print-on-demand platform. Sarah explains that she chose this format to launch Fontosaur “because it’s the quickest way I can get the books into the hands of children in lots of countries during this time of social-isolation”. A colourful reading book and stationery are planned for the future once funding (or a book deal) has been secured.
Better known for her work for adults, why did Sarah write a book about fonts for children?
“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 are excited about fonts and different lettering styles because their books are already so typographically expressive. From comic books to cartoons, this is a visual language they’re already very familiar with. My books 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”.
Sarah Hyndman is on a mission to change the way we think and talk about typography by making it fun and exciting for everybody. She specialises in making typography entertaining and relevant with humour, a dash of theatre and lashings of audience participation. Sarah is the author of the bestselling book Why Fonts Matter (Penguin/Random House) and the founder of Type Tasting. As an experienced public speaker Sarah has given a TEDx talk and she speaks at events around the world. She’s an entertaining guest on radio and TV (including Word of Mouth with Michael Rosen, Today and Saturday Live for BBC Radio 4, Sunday Brunch for Channel 4).
Share the fontosaurs your children colour in or create with Sarah on Instagram @fontosaur.
Update: three-year-old Blake does now enjoy The Night the Fonts Farted book and thinks that his parents reading to him about farting fonts is very funny.