(as we Finns say Hello) My name is Jenni Ahonen and yes I'm from Finland. At the moment I'm living in Reading, Berkshire, England and spending my beautiful Winter days doing my MA of Typeface Design in the University of Reading. Literally, I'm messing with type; reading about it or sketching my own typeface for children. Here's some of my thoughts about my typeface design:
- I want to design a typeface for kids that start to learn how to read (the typeface could be used in ABC books or even in the early books that parents read for their kids ?).
- I'm thinking of making a hybrid type where elements (best parts) of serifs and sans-serifs are mixed, maybe little bit informal style 'a', 'g' etc. Would my design help reading to become easier for children? Does it help them to start to read other books (children's literature) after learned how to read? Not straight jump from sans-serif types (like it is fashion these days in learning books) to serifs. I would like my type to be friendly, warm and easy to take in, but it shouldn't be too playful (I need to make a difference between my design and comic/ over played types).
- I've been wondering why it's not common in typefaces for children to design light face? Is it difficult to understand the forms when they are seemingly lighter?... If I think it's a good idea to design lighter version of the type, I would like to do it. Other faces could be italic, regular, bold and maybe funny feature, dingbats: A = apple, B = banana, C = carrot etc. Idea of the dingbats is to realate letter's shapes and sound to familiar object. The problem is that figures are then linked into certain language, in this case into English. I probably need to do also an outline face that children use to trace letters by finger and this way learn each letter's shape (in Dr. Rosemary Sassoon and Adrian William's Sassoon Primary Infant they have this feature).
- It would be nice that the type has a longer function with children even after they know how to read. Maybe design a face that is for children's reading books (advanced readers), that the type has serifs and is more formal, but still has the same form language in it. What about low vision readers and deaf children? How to make a type that could take them in, children who have learning disabilities?
- I'm still thinking of making Non-Latin typeface, but I'm not sure if it's too much for me. My time is limited and I don't want to produce type that isin't good, just good enough. If I decided still to do Non-Latin alphabet, I probably do a Cyrillic or Bengali Script (300 characters).
All my thoughts are still flowting around and I'm trying to make my direction clearer.
- Talvikki on Wikipedia | Meta
- Email: ahonen (dot) jenni (at) gmail (dot) com
- Here's my helper's page :-)
- Type design for Children
- Readability and legibility
- Typefaces used in online learning
- 'Talking Books' and learning softwares for children
- Children and online learning
- Book of Kells
- Green jewel
- Finnish typographers
- Irish typographers