Playful, experimental, light hearted, direct, and a little independent—
typefaces and color that capture these aspects and appeal to kids
between four and ten years of age show movement and simplicity.
They also convey the effortlessness and energy of games and toys,
exploration, and kids’ growing sense of themselves as entities separate
from their parents.
Laura Markley, design
Jim Olson, lettering
Mike Wepplo, illustration
Glenn Ridge [NJ] USA
An aspect of gaming or fun is the most common quality among typefaces
that are directed toward a youthful audience or that try to evoke this group
in communications. This fun element is rarely contrived in appearance,
however, as simplicity and artlessness are equally important. Often, an extra-
bold or black sans serif with geometric construction gives the appearance
of smiling or cute eyes in the apertures of the lowercase; indeed, relying
more on the lowercase tends to give the type a more childlike character.
But soft, oldstyle serifs, with less contrast, especially in semibold or bold
weights—in which their curves become more pronounced and rhythmic—
take on a cherubic quality. Similarly, rounded-terminal sans serifs achieve
this same formal quality. Typefaces from educational textbooks—slab serifs
and serif gothics found in nursery rhyme or storybooks—connote school
and education. For slightly older kids in this group who are reading and
participating in activities such as sports and computer games, and who
have been introduced to popular culture and entertainment, typefaces with
abstract details, geometric construction, and illustrative inclusions resonate.
(Provision) Type Style Finder
L805.130 / 4028
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