Typography book for kids
December 13, 2011 7:12 AM   Subscribe

Is there any such thing as a typography book for kids?

I have a young niece who's getting into making her own fancy letterforms. I'd like to get her a book of ideas she can use in putting together alphabets. I don't want anything that gets into the nuts and bolts of professional typography, just lots of examples of fun (mostly hand-drawn) fonts.

I would just point her to sites like DaFont and Fontsquirrel, but they don't have an internet connection at home. Are there any printed books that might do the trick?
posted by echo target to Media & Arts (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Here's a useful distinction for your search:

typography = use of type
typeface design = creation of type

How old is she?
posted by Typographica at 7:20 AM on December 13, 2011

Perhaps a book on calligraphy, not typography?
posted by Thorzdad at 7:26 AM on December 13, 2011 [2 favorites]

There are lots of inexpensive books published by Dover with fancy alphabets that she could trace or copy. The first one I found—Ready-to-Use Ornate Letters and Initials—is probably way more complicated than what you're looking for, but it might start you down a good rabbit-hole search.
posted by bcwinters at 7:34 AM on December 13, 2011

I saw this workbook on a design blog before, and it is so cute! It is sold out unfortunately, but it's available for pre-order.
posted by to recite so charmingly at 7:50 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: I picked up the book How to be the Best Bubblewriter in the World Ever as a gift for a friend's kid for Christmas. It's limited, as the review said - but really fun and not expensive. In the Graphic Design section of any major bookstore, there are books on fonts and logos and things - mrgood has quite a few, like this one - but honestly, they're kind of boring. I'm nuts about handwriting, so I liked reading the book Script and Scribble and would find a book like this one fascinating - but she might just be happy with anything that encourages creativity, say, from Keri Smith, which will contain elements of what she likes. How old is "young"?
posted by peagood at 7:53 AM on December 13, 2011

Agreeing that her age is really important here. If she's very very young, picture books with hand-drawn letterforms might really appeal to her. (When I was little, I loved the lettering in The Monster at the End of This Book, but I'm guessing she's too old for that.)
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:08 AM on December 13, 2011

Great suggestions, and if she's 10+ I think a calligraphy primer is the best one. Nothing can teach us more about how Latin letters are formed than learning about the act of writing. For adults, The Stroke is highly recommended.
posted by Typographica at 8:47 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: I had this as a kid in the 80s and was super obsessed with it. Looks like there have been several different covers since then; I bet you can still get a copy from Scholastic.
posted by clavicle at 9:11 AM on December 13, 2011

Best answer: The notable designer Sharon Werner put together a picture book called Alphabeasties, and i would actually recommend the follow-up Alphabeasties Amazing Activity book; I think it's one of the few books directed towards that age range that does some unique stuff with type, but also presents it in a super fun and accessible way, discussing the different weights and shapes of letters in different fonts.
posted by redsparkler at 10:05 AM on December 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You're right, Typographica, I do mean typeface design. She's...six, I think? Too young for calligraphy, I expect.

How to be the Best Bubblewriter in the World Ever looks great, and I'll see if I can check out The Lettering Book and Alphabeasties too. Thanks, all!
posted by echo target at 11:11 AM on December 13, 2011

Not a kids' book per se but: Word Play by John Langdon, a book of ambigrams.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2011

She might enjoy Rene Siegfried's The Serif Fairy, 'an amazing book for type aficionados and their children':

The Serif Fairy has lost her wing, keeping her from performing magic. This book follows her through an airy, immaculately designed typographic landscape as she hunts for the wing. Along the way, she makes friends and has adventures as she wanders through the Garamond Forest, visits Futura Town and eventually ends her quest at Shelley Lake.
posted by verstegan at 1:58 PM on December 13, 2011

the abc3d book is for kids and typophiles of all ages
posted by ouke at 2:19 PM on December 13, 2011

I was trying to figure out the name of the book I had as a kid. I've concluded it's the Lettering Book that clavicle linked.

It is a collection of a bunch of styles of lettering all drawn on grids. I would make hand-made birthday and Christmas cards as a kid, and always used that as a reference for the lettering.
posted by RobotHero at 3:17 PM on December 13, 2011

I was given ABC of Lettering by my uncle when I was maybe 8 or 9. But my favourites were the font catalogues that Adobe spammed our house with. Just seeing so many different typefaces together in the same place is pretty fantastic.
posted by emeiji at 10:31 PM on December 13, 2011

« Older Put new battery in VW Golf and now it won't start....   |   Network Bridge Over the River Kwai Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.