15

I’ve been looking around, and so far I haven’t found much. Most places I find also suggest using Comic Sans so I'm hesitant to take their advice.

The book will be for ages 0 — 5, so very young, most likely their parents will read it to them. The page size is 6in x 9in and there’s a good paragraph worth of text on pages that have text. Should the font be the standard size 12 as other books? Or should it be bumped up for kids? How big is to big in that case? Is there a standard for this, or is it mostly guess and check?

This is the first time I’ve illustrated a children’s book, so I have no idea. Any help is much appreciated!

  • 4
    Ask 13 differ designers an your'e going to get 13 different answers. It's all merely opinion. – Scott Mar 1 '15 at 20:36
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    Just copy whatever Dr. Seuss has. He figured it out. – DA01 Mar 2 '15 at 5:32
  • Hang on a sec … “the standard size 12 as other books”? Who sets regular books in 12pt text? That’s huge! – Janus Bahs Jacquet Mar 2 '15 at 17:23
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    @JanusBahsJacquet It's not as big as you'd think. It's recommended you use size 10-12 size font for print and size 15-25 for the web to make text easier to read. It's not a rule, but it's become standard in most books / sites. – Nagoshi Mar 2 '15 at 17:28
  • VAG Rounded is a decent font choice for children's books. – A E Mar 2 '15 at 19:03
28

My advice as a parent

Kids of that age don't read books, they look at books and enjoy the images, colors and stuff.

Other people read those book to kids under the following conditions:

  • Bad light (because it's bed time)
  • The head of the kid in between the book and the reader
  • A never steady book, because the kids like to help holding it

As a result, use a font size that is comfortable to read under unusual conditions. The rest it typography as usual.

The font type is primary a matter of taste and style. As long a you choose a quality font, you should not have to worry about kerning etc. Go to myfonts.com or a similar service, but don't use Comic Sans – it's just boring – and no book should be boring. ;-)

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    As sort of User Interface study (😄), would you also recommend putting text at the top and illustrations at the bottom? This to prevent little hands blocking the text! – usr2564301 Mar 1 '15 at 21:56
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    I wish I could +1 every bullet in this answer, and +10 for "don't use Comic Sans." There's no point in polluting young eyes with bad fonts at such a tender age. :) – Lauren-Reinstate-Monica-Ipsum Mar 2 '15 at 3:02
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    there are quite a few children who are reading by the age of 5. – Voxwoman Mar 2 '15 at 3:56
  • @Jongware that is indeed a good point to think about. :-) – Mario Mar 2 '15 at 7:48
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    Most 5 years olds are unlikely to be reading the whole of "a good paragraph of text", but at least some of them will be recognising at least some words from previous reading of the same book. – armb Mar 2 '15 at 10:28
15

Typography for children's books is much more complicated that only font size, you must consider the font, kerning, leading etc. Here's a very nice post that goes into detail regarding the basics that should help a lot!
They recommend 14-18pt with 16 to 22pt leading and I agree, but read the entire post!

2

I agree with Mario - almost fully. But if you intend to be read by 4 or 5 years old kids then use the font they have at school. I used the 'Boo' and 'Palmemima' fonts in the books I prepared for my daughter.

At least in Spain... just my 2 cents.

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    Really, kids go to school with the age of 4 or 5 years, in Spain? In Austria they are still in Kindergarden. That's interesting. BTW: In Austria and Germany the school decides which font they use to teach. AFAIK: There is no standard font. – Mario Mar 2 '15 at 16:06
0

Small children need a larger font. Personally I like https://www.dyslexiefont.com/en/typeface/ and Comic Sans for young children (5-6). As they learn to read books take them to other fonts but I think size 18 to start with, when they are looking still at each letter, reducing to size 14 when they start reading whole words; size 12 at intermediate school (10 years-ish) and and only size 10 and down at high school.

My 10 year old son, who started the year full of hope and confidence, was blighted on the second day by the teacher trying to save paper. He had printed two timetables 8x20 cell to each A5 page. Furthermore, the teacher's copy was in color. The children's were in grayscale so the white on black showed up well but most of the rest was illegible to barely legible black on black/dark grey on black and less than size 6 font.

This is a barrier to achievement.

-2

Font size is very important to beginning readers.....the font should be a sans serif font to align with the letters that they are being taught to print. Adults prefer fonts with serifs....

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