Created by American designer George Ryan, Kristen was inspired by a handwritten menu came across during an eating excursion in Cambridge. After exploring a typeface based directly on the menu’s scrawl, Ryan eventually decided to evolve the idea and design Kristen as a child’s print instead. He has been quoted as calling Kristen “not your average text or display font”, which is certainly the case. In fact, the resulting family contains two subfamilies: Kristen normal and Kristen not so normal.
Kristen is often used in the branding materials and advertising copy of kid-oriented products. Given that it is not as primitive a script as, for example, Kidprint (which evokes the handwriting of a very young child), Kristen is particularly useful in tween branding for girls between the ages of 8 and 12.