This article deals with the contrasting views of designers, educationalists and scientific legibility researchers concerning children’s typefaces. Guidelines about typefaces and their legibility for beginner readers remain inconclusive due to these different perspectives. The article first discusses the opinions of each of these parties on children’s typefaces. Educationalists’ views are often based on prejudices and forces of habit. Designers tend to follow the views of their potential clients and scientific legibility researchers often lack typographical knowledge for creating valid test material. To conclude, a new perspective on a need for collaboration between the different parties within typographic design research is suggested. This approach might be able not only to acquire a deeper understanding and explanation of the question which typefaces are best for children, but also for the development and design of concrete new, functional typefaces and/or guidelines.

beginner readers, legibility, type design, sanserif, serif, design research
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis
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TMG Journal for Media History; Vol 19, No 2 (2016): Typografie in mediahistorisch perspectief; 1-9

Bessemans, Ann. (2016). Typefaces for Children's Reading. Tijdschrift voor Mediageschiedenis, 19(2), 1–9. doi:10.18146/2213-7653.2016.268