After feeling frustrated with the lack of choice of dyslexic friendly fonts I decided to look into working with designers to create our own. The number of fonts that do not have an a written as we present it to children and the number 4 as we would like the children to write it is huge. Conversely the number of choices of a font that fulfilled these requirements that was also ‘clean’ and clear to read was very small. I commissioned The Entente, Ant and Ed, two font and graphic designers to work with us and our children to come up with a Castledown Font.
We carried out workshops, involved the children in learning about fonts and names and where they came from. We talked to the children about how to design a font, how to think carefully about sizing, capital letters and lowercase letters. Several weeks, months and meetings later we have completed the work and are proud of the family of fonts we have.
We now use the font for all our correspondence, letters and signs in the school. You can see it on our Curriculum Leaflets and on our Newsletters.
From the dyslexic friendly font we developed a font that we use for handwriting. That is another story and was very much a collaboration with staff and Ant and Ed, looking at joins of letters that would never come up in English in order to make sure the font worked on computers and the letters could ‘talk to each other!’
We are continuing our work to develop wooden stencil letters and hope to create an App for use on our iPads. Once we have the Castledown Font Family finally finished we will be looking to market it as a package so that other institutions can benefit from a cohesive piece of work grown from the needs of the children.
NOMINATED IN THE DESIGN MUSEUM’S DESIGN OF THE YEAR AWARD 2014
WINNER OF INTERNATIONAL TYPOGRAPHER’S AWARD 2014
We currently have the fonts available to buy from
This is currently a commercial site and you can pay by paypal, if you are interested in buying it as an organisation please email us via our contact page. We are very keen to hear your stories and see how the font might spread.
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