Appeltje – A typeface for beginning readers

Overview of Appeltje’s weights
Calligraphic Design Principle
German and Dutch Words
Appeltje for Basic Math Education
Overview of Appeltje in a running text setting

Appeltje is a humanist sans-serif type, intended to be easily readable and legible by beginning readers in elementary school, without ignoring the rich calligraphic tradition of western type.

The idea came when looking at elementary school work sheets all set in a so called »schoolbook« typeface. This typeface featured a futura-inspired geometric formal principle, putting a focus on a simple formal principle of each letter. However this results in letters that are hard to tell apart, as lowercase b,d,p and q are mirror-images of each other.

Readability also doesn’t only come from simple letter-shapes, but rather from significant word-shapes and distinct whitespace between individual letters. A symmetrical geometric typeface cant’t provide this. If you want to know more about the theory I highly recommend read Gerrit Nordzij’s »Das Kind und die Schrift«

Appeltje is a synthesis of simple letter-shapes with a calligraphic character, yielding highly distinctive letters. Appeltje was drawn for children, but it’s not childish. It’s multiple weights allow for it to be used in clear and distinct branding projects as well.

Appeltje is currently receiving its finishing touches. It will be released for commerical usage via Pohlen & Co. soon.

For: Self Initiated
Role: Typeface Design