UK Primary School Commissions A Customized Font For Its Students
Designers from London's Colophon Foundry observed students' handwriting exercises and created a font that would make reading and writing easier to learn and teach. Named after the school, Castledown is now on sale to the public.
Kecia Lynn has worked as a technical writer, editor, software developer, arts administrator, summer camp director, and television host. A graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop, she is currently living in Iowa City and working on her first novel.
What's the Latest Development?
Frustrated with the standard fonts used in handwriting exercise books, headmaster Neil Small of the Castledown Primary School in East Sussex asked London design studio Colophon Foundry: Could they create a typeface that was "sans-serif, dyslexic-friendly, and shaped similarly to the way kids naturally write"? After polling students and observing their classes, designers Edd Harrington and Anthony Sheret came up with Castledown. It was nominated for an award and is now available for sale to the public.
What's the Big Idea?
The one existing font that came closest to satisfying Small's requirements was also one of the most reviled fonts in recent memory. Harrington says Castledown ended up being an attempt "to rationalize Comic Sans...to [explain] why the forms are becoming more friendly." Not only are the letters in the typeface easier for students to trace, they're also easier for everyone to read...so much so that the school uses it for all signage and official correspondence. At the very least, the designers hope their approach will help convince more schools to reevaluate the materials used to teach students how to write.
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