Don’t monkey around with fonts

According to children’s literacy website Reading Rockets, when kids start to read, they like to mirror the writing they see around them. So, if they see you writing a list, they may well write one too.   If you’re writing in your diary, they’ll probably have a pretend one too.

Most parents will help their children get better at writing by practising forming letters with a variety of mediums: paper, sand, snow – or even in the air. It’s also good to read things which just happen to be around and might well catch the eye – like cereal packets, for instance. So, how confusing is the font for Kellogg’s Adopt a Monkey campaign?

As a marketing idea the Adopt a Monkey campaign is a cracker. It ticks all the boxes: cuddly animals, conservation and charity.

But who designed the font? With capitals D, N, H, P and G slung with gay abandon in the middle of words on both the Kellogg’s and Born Free sites, they’re making reading and writing just that bit harder for a major part of its target audience.

Do you baulk at, “KeePiNG WiLDlife in tHe WiLD”, or “BorN Free”, or is it just me? Do you feel this curious choice of script is designed to make a younger audience feel at ease because these are the kinds of mistakes kids make when they’re learning to write? In that case we could soon be going down the crumpled paper, smudge-infested route. Perhaps with the odd dribble or bogey on: that’s common in kids’ efforts too.

So: Adopt a Monkey – great idea, guys. But rein in those designers or you’re only making an already complicated system even more difficult for those just starting out.

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