Typography for kids aged 4-16

Hi, I'm doing a project on "engaging the audience" and getting them to feel inspired and appreciate typography, My audience is 4-16 year olds. My aim is to try and inspire 4-16 year olds to appreciate typography and possibly enjoy it more. I've done some secondary research into my age range and have even tried to make typography attractive via means of colour and shape but i'm not really getting much feedback when i approach people who stop and look. I was wondering if anybody may have some helpful suggestions or advice?


hrant's picture

Too dark.

Check out these books for inspiration:
Hyperactivitypography from A to Z
Bembo's Zoo: An Animal ABC Book
... and another one I'll have to dig up from the garage.


Nick Shinn's picture

From the title of the thread, I thought you meant the children were doing the typography, rather than being targeted as readers.

I also don’t think that 16 year-olds are “kids”—at least not Typophiler Jasper de Waard!

Nick Shinn's picture

From the title of the thread, I thought you meant the children were doing the typography, rather than being targeted as readers.

I also don’t think that 16 year-olds are “kids”—at least not Typophiler Jasper de Waard!

Frankly, I doubt there are any common factors within the demographic you specify, relating to a potential interest in typography.

Kadabrahska1's picture

No the aim is to try and engage children and teenagers and possibly find out what they find interesting about typography. I'm sorry the way I worded my post didn't quite distinguish my age range up into categories. You're quite right! 16 year olds aren't "kids" they're teenagers.


Kadabrahska1's picture

Thank you very much for your help, much appreciated!

Nick Shinn's picture

Typography has a lot of contact points with other areas of culture that people may be interested in.
How about a questionaire along the lines of “If you like this … then you may be interested in … ”
For instance, the typography of Harry Potter.
Longest name on a football shirt.
Tattoos: type or lettering—what’s best?
And so on.

oldnick's picture

The basic question is: what are the “rules of engagement”? The children at the younger extremes of the spectrum are still learning about how the world works, and how they fit into it. Teens, on the other hand, are trying to find their place in the social hierarchy. So, at one end, the principle at work is Wonder; at the other end, Conformity. Of course, what is cool to teenagers is constantly changing—which makes parents perpetually clueless, and product and/or service peddlers rich.

So, that which engages the younger minds may remain constant, while the older minds will seek Novelty. IMHO, this typeface works either way…


Although, obviously, not in all caps…

timd's picture

I think you could look at the anatomy of a typeface, or maybe for your younger age range the anatomy of handwriting. Before you look at the laying out of text – something along the lines of the use of white/coloured/negative space within text setting, along the “Can you spot the arrow in the FedEx logo?” type problem.

Longest name on a football shirt.



hrant's picture

Here it is - it's a very cute book:
"A Type Detective Story, Episode One: The Crime Scene" by Matthew Woolman.


Luma Vine's picture

1) http://typophile.com/node/97901

2) you should define what is similar and what is different for you about getting kids interested in typography vs. getting them interested in letters, words, and reading - which are all common objectives of books, schools, etc.

Arthus's picture

Your audience is so far apart in the learning curve of language, writing, recognizing letters that you'll have to set up multiple ways to engage them. So I wouldn't bombard the younger audience with too many ways of writing/lettering.

For the younger ones I think it's more interesting to let them do things with their hands. For instance: take a box of sand and draw letters in it, this also immediately teaches the reason of negative space since your letters will otherwise collapse ;)

But for your older audience I think letting them discover letterforms in their surroundings could be a good way to engage and teach them. Having them understand why they see a letter, understanding what the main ingredients are of a letterform. Also, this is something they can take along after your project is long done.

Sadly my own intervention into kid type/typography still will take a while to finish, otherwise I'd hook you up.

Interested in what you'll come up with!

Chris Dean's picture

@Kadabrahska1: What have you come up with from your own research so far? At what school do you teach?

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