Creating a design targeted towards children can be hard. If you try too hard to be 'down with the kids' you'll just appear foolish. Perhaps the best way to approach designs for kids is to speak to them on their own terms.
That's the thinking behind these 10 child-friendly fonts, which range from young childlike crayon writing to fun bubble writing to neat cursive handwriting (opens in new tab) worthy of full marks in any school writing test. Comic Sans (opens in new tab), be gone! These kids fonts would look perfect on packaging designs, posters and books.
01. Kids Crayon (opens in new tab)
Getting us started on our list of the best kids fonts is the appropriately named Kids Crayon. Doing just what it says on the tin, this textured font is taken from the crayon handwriting of creator Ian Williams' five-year-old kids. With all the idiosyncrasies that only kids could create, this charming font will only set you back £7.99 (about $10).
02. Kids Script (opens in new tab)
Format: OTF, TT
Kids' writing isn't necessarily always clumsy and chalky. Take Kids Script, a font that is based on the calligraphic handwriting models used in Spanish schools in the 1940s. It might sound an esoteric starting point, but the result is a fresh font with a unique edge. Download the three-font family for £49.99 (about $63.50).
03. PF Kids Pro (opens in new tab)
PF Kids Pro is another font that uses real life writing as a starting point. In this case, the daughter of Alexandros Papalexis can find her writing immortalised in font form. Created while designing invitations to her birthday party, this rough around the edges font is available in three weights for £140 (about $177.50).
04. La Mona Kids (opens in new tab)
Time for something completely different. Speaking to kids in their own handwriting is all well and good (and there's more of that to come) but sometimes a font needs to grab their attention. Enter La Mona Kids, a fun bubble writing font loaded with odd details that are impossible to ignore. What's more, you can grab the eight fonts in the family for just £35.99 (about $45.50).
05. Butterfly Kids (opens in new tab)
Head over to the Butterfly Kids download page and you'll see the font describe itself as being all about "spreading cheer! Be fun. Be cute. Be happy!" With its curly letter shapes and OpenType ligatures, we'd be hard pressed to disagree. This single font is yours to download for only £13.99 (about $18).
06. Cool Crayon (opens in new tab)
Another font from the school-inspired camp, Cool Crayon is a typeface that emulates the gritty texture of blackboard chalk. (Although we can't help but think, do kids these days even know what blackboards are? Answers on a postcard... or maybe a Tweet.) This font is available free for personal use only, but you can licence it from designer David Kerkhoff's site Hanoded Fonts (opens in new tab).
07. CookieMonster (opens in new tab)
Maybe it's just us, but this font is a typographic flashback to sitting next to someone in school who dotted their i's with love hearts and more than likely wrote in neon gel pen. Either way, Cookie Monster is a fun kids' handwriting font that you can download for personal use for free (or negotiate a commercial license with the designer, Des, via the contact details in the font description).
08. Crayon En Folie (opens in new tab)
If none of the other pencil fonts on our list are quite what you're looking for, perhaps Crayon En Folie is what you need. This kids' font takes your standard pencil typeface and gives them a splash of colour. Download it for £10.99 (about $14).
09. JollyGood Sans Condensed (opens in new tab)
A cute font with Sans in the name? Don't worry, JollyGood Sans doesn't have the nauseating edge of . In fact, this typeface is pleasant on the eye and slimmed down so you can fit more letters on the page. And given that it's made for posters and books, it's a practical design choice, too. Download eight fonts for £70.99 (about $90).
10. Kids (opens in new tab)
When a kids' font is simply named Kids, you know you're on to a winner. Evoking the inky block lettering you'll find in exercise books (again, are they still a thing? Or is it all iPads in classrooms now?), this set comes with uppercase and lowercase letters, plus a whole host of numbers and symbols. Best of all, you can grab it for free.
Read some of our other great posts, like:
- Great free handwriting fonts (opens in new tab)
- Typography rules and terms every designer must know (opens in new tab)
- 10 different fonts to give your projects a unique edge (opens in new tab)