Sassoon Infant History
Rosemary Sassoon‘s career prior to font face creation centered around the art of handwriting, specifically the process of teaching people – usually very young people – how to write letterforms. A noteworthy researcher into writing and the formulation of creative teaching methods, Sassoon has long been regarded as an expert in her field.
In her research, Sassoon soon discovered that there was a distinct deficiency of font choice when it came to teaching children how to write: chiefly a lack of faces with letterforms designed to accommodate the writing motions as individuals learned to make basic letter shapes.
As a consequence of her findings, Sassoon set about designing a sloped face – later known as Sassoon Primary® – which would render itself appropriate in classroom settings. The initial font was created with the help of Adrian Williams and released in 1988.
To cater for younger children who were better able to understand an upright face, Sassoon and Williams released Sassoon Infant later the same year. The sans serif font is available in a variety of styles, including outlines and dots, making it easier for teachers to incorporate into their lessons. Naturally the font is very useful in other circumstances, such as the application of TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language).
Sassoon Infant Usage
Sassoon Infant was designed for a specific purpose: to be a legible, clear and well constructed font for on screen and practical use in the classroom. It has been used widely in this manner since its first release in 1988 and is a favorite among teachers across the world.
Sassoon Infant is also widely utilized in children‘s book publications because of its high level of readability. It has also been described as an “unthreatening” font and many designers have taken that on board in a number of different applications.
Examples of the Sassoon Infant font in use can be found at the Ay Up Me Duck (Early Infant Resources) website for the Ten Fat Sausages materials and at Jelly and Bean at Follyfoot Farm, where various books and learning supplies are provided.
When the basement of the London Science Museum was designed, several important factors had to be taken into consideration including the direction of younger visitors. Brooklyn based Creative Director Norman Hathaway was made responsible for the way-finding design and chose Sassoon Infant as the font for his friendly black and white signage.
When asked why the particular font was chosen, Hathaway responded that he liked the look and feel of the font and that Rosemary Sassoon was “the only person I know of who has done extensive readability testing with children…her resulting typeface features details that help dyslexic kids differentiate between characters.”
Adrian Williams began his career as a typographer during the nineteen sixties, in the era of phototypesetting machinery like the Digiset. His earliest work was the conversion of metal typefaces to the new medium; later, Williams became involved with the cutting edge digital technology still utilized today.
His company, Club Type, was founded in 1985 and soon began generating very popular fonts like Congress® Sans, Poseidon® and Bulldog®. The Sassoon series was drafted by Williams with the expertise of Rosemary Sassoon, researcher and author of Computers and Typography, a study in which children were asked about typefaces they found legible and illegible.