We did it! Stay tuned from more to come from The Clothes Letters Wear. Updates on the production will still be posted here, but if you weren't a backer, you will want to check out http://www.theclothesletterswear.com. It will serve as a nexus for TCLW in the years to come.
Hi there! You may not know me. That’s OK. I’m pretty sure you’ve seen my work, though. I’m a typeface designer. I've had my work used in and for five major motion pictures, countless books, including a number of best sellers and more than a few video games. Basically, I design letters for a living. That’s right--fonts. Your computer is chock-full of them, and although you may not realize it, those fonts are all made day and night by hard-working elves locked away in a deep, dark, cavernous dungeon. Well, not so much that last part. But thousands upon thousands of these letters are all sketched, shaped, and polished off by designers like me. Some letters are made to be pretty; some are just functional; but they all surround us every day. There’s no escaping them. Let’s come back to that, though.
Making fonts is a big project. No question there. But I’ve learned that even creating all these forms doesn’t compare in excitement and level of impact to my next project.
This little guy is my son, Will. He’s had a big part in helping me shape this great new story. When Will was born, we found that he loved to devour books--and not just with his mouth. This, of course, made me as a type designer very happy. The little guy loved books so much that it easily became one of our staple activities together. Big books. Little books. Board books. Soft books. Lot of colors across all the pages. Some books were great and entertaining to read; others, just nice to fill the time. So what’s the problem? Through all the books we’ve read together--and there have been quite a few--I’ve discovered that there aren’t enough cool books for kids, and sadly, none are dedicated to the type forms that make up all these other books we read. For someone just starting out on a learning expedition, this thick, typographic forest of letters masked in different forms might be quite bewildering. Remember, these crazy shapes are everywhere!
How could I convey to him that this form of A should read the same way as this one? In short, I realized he needed to be indoctrinated--I mean, introduced into the wonderfully wild world of fonts.
That’s where this new book, The Clothes Letters Wear, comes in. In it, I use the concept that fonts are the clothes that letters put on. It’s a basic enough concept for even young children to grasp and appreciate, and it allows them to start to playing with their own creative ideas based on such a simple foundation. I designed this book, too, not only as a simple teaching tool for you to use with your children, but also to delight and entertain you. Yep, that’s right; you the parent have a right to be entertained, too. And while a fantastic resource for any parent, I believe graphic designers in particular will find a great love for it. With it, they can easily show children how forms look different across typeface classifications as well as how each letter presents a world of possibilities.
It's a board book, measuring about 6 inches square, with beveled corners. It's plenty durable and able to take all kinds of abuse including, but not limited to, chewing, Roomba ingestion, and repeated readings at 5 A.M.
In the end, the book should give your kids (and yes, you) an appreciation for the craft and design of the actual letters themselves and provide you a book you can enjoy reading over and over together.
I’ve made the captivating illustrations bright and colorful, and the use of different letter forms makes for a fascinating read to delight ages young and young at heart. As an added bonus, this children’s book has a custom designed font. I’m always looking for an excuse to design a new font, and this book created the perfect alibi. Drum roll, please.
I now give you . . . Cabrito (“little goat” en Espanol). You can also get a free copy of the Regular Italic from MyFonts.com. Go ahead, I'll wait.
This new serif typeface incorporates the latest research on typographic legibility for children, features to make it--well, extra legible. A little background: studies show that Bookman Old Style is one of the most readable typefaces. This font became my initial framework for the typeface. Then, I found more legibility research saying that (brace yourselves) Comic Sans is also very legible for beginning readers, much due to the large x-height and softer, easily recognizable forms. In addition, forms that are closer to handwriting also seem to be more legible. Once I threw all that into my cauldron and stewed it a bit, the result was a pleasantly rounded typeface that includes not-so-strictly geometric, handwriting-inspired forms for the b, d, p, and q. Es guapo!
The typeface is fully featured and professional. I’m selling the full version over on MyFonts.com. However, you can get it in a bundle with the book cheaper (though not quite as fast) here along with the book by pledging. The Pro version has over 48 different fonts including condensed and extended variants.
Apart from the book and the font, 11x17” letterpressed posters of various characters from the book will be available, too, not to mention pledging through the Kickstarter is a great way to get deals on a number of other cool fonts.
At the base level, I’m hoping for the support I need to make this book a reality, but really, I’m preparing to aim for the stars on this one. I’ve got some great stretch goals down the line as well. That last part may sound crazy, but I’ll add in that this isn’t my first rodeo. Some of you might know me from another Kickstarter, Chatype, which received international attention. The first one was a great success, and I’m now able to put what I learned from the first one into organizing this new project.
But organization can get me only so far. I can’t do this without you. The design’s just about ready to go, and we’re just about to start production. I now need your help to get The Clothes Letters Wear produced and into your child’s hands (and like Will, in your child’s mouth, too). This book is designed for you and your child to treasure for many years. We’d like you to join us in making all this possible.
From Will and I, a big thanks. We hope to hear from you soon.
Risks and challenges
As I mentioned, this isn’t my first Kickstarter (see Chatype), and as I’ve learned along the way, there’s sadly a natural human foible to underestimate one’s ability to get things done. As a result, I want to be very conservative with my estimate of when the incentives will be shipped. A lot of Kickstarters fail or are delayed because they have "too many moving parts." Being mindful of this, I’ve tried to make the incentives as simple to produce as possible. One of the challenges will be the delivery time for the books. Currently, the partners that I’ve lined up for production estimate six to eight weeks. I trust their estimates are accurate but am also mindful that there could be delays along the way: shipping, hurricanes, the occasional rogue goat who gets in the way and various kinds of typographic mishaps such as rouge rags, orphans, and widows. It’s my intent to get the incentives to you as quickly as possible, and I know that at least with this endeavor, there's no new technology that needs to be invented.
So now that all that’s out on the table, let’s make this happen!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)