Sassoon Primary™ is a humanist sans serif specialized typeface designed by Dr Rosemary Sassoon and Adrian Williams in 1988, with refinements being made up until 1998. The Sassoon Primary typeface is a simplistic rounded form with ample space between letters and between the strokes of each character. Aimed at primary school learners, it is very legible and easily reproducible by hand.
Dr Rosemary Sassoon, who designed the Sassoon Primary™ typeface discovered through her teaching of children that there was a need for a standard typeface that is not only easy for children to comprehend, but is also easy for them to reproduce when learning to write. This duality of purpose presented a challenge for Sassoon who has produced a series of fonts that are specially designed to aid those who are learning to read and write. The Sassoon Primary typeface has nuances that are dissimilar to other fonts. This is because the designer wanted to ensure that the font represented the same forms that were to be taught to those learning handwriting. To this end, Sassoon studied handwriting in great detail and made sure that her typeface reflected proper letter and word formation.
The designer admitted that she was dismayed at the plethora of different shapes used to define letters in many typefaces which she identified as having a confusing effect on those learning to read and write. She figured out that children with learning difficulties could read some pages and not others, even if the content was the same. This pointed to the different typefaces used and when investigated further, it transpired that a number of typefaces are not suitable for those learning to read and write. After 2 years of research, Sassoon created the first typeface ever aimed solely at children and those learning to read and write. Using children who had poor reading skills as a study base, Dr. Sassoon created a typeface that allowed them to learn at a much faster rate than previously possible. The Sassoon family of fonts is now one of the most widely used fonts in junior education around the world; not only used for teaching reading and writing, but also in phonics.
The physical attributes of this typeface, in common with all of Dr Sassoon‘s other families of fonts, is an immediately obvious simplicity of form. There are no embellishments other than a slight forward slant to the vertical strokes. The forward slant actually encourages reading motion from left to right, so when new learners are grasping the shapes of the letters, the forward slant encourages their eye to move forward along the line. Very upright strokes have been shown to cause the reader to read each letter individually – this is desirable in early readers but once the learner can recognize complete words, a forward slant, even if barely noticeable, is preferable Backwards leaning letters can actually reduce reading and learning speed among students.
Mariana Eggers - Sassoon Primary
Linotype - Rosemary Sassoon
Clubtype - About Sassoon
Sassoon Primary Usage
The Cambridge University Press used Sassoon Primary™ for “New Horizons”, a series of science books in the early 1990‘s and the British Museum uses the typeface in all their signage in their children‘s areas.
The Sassoon family of fonts has been used throughout the world of education. This unique easily readable and comprehensible typeface is now becoming the standard for schools across the globe for anyone learning to read and write.