Dancing Kites Creative Learning’s first book, My Dog Nick, features layout and typography based on two years of research, testing design concepts on focus groups made up of dyslexic children.
Corinna Shepherd, founder of Dancing Kites and author of My Dog Nick, appointed Buckinghamshire-based BCT in 2008, after meeting the group at a breakfast meeting run by Business Referral Exchange.
Shepherd, who teaches dyslexic children, tasked BCT with designing the books and creating a visual identity for the company. BCT managing director Emma Carter says, ’During research we found that type should be laid against a tinted background so that the letters don’t jump around because of the high contrast between black and white.
We found that pale yellow is the best colour.’ The kite logo is being used to colour-code the three levels of books in the series, and as an icon for the page numbers, Carter adds.
During the lengthy research period, BCT tested different tracking and leading for the Myriad Pro Regular typeface. Initially, BCT tried to procure Natascha Frensch’s Read Regular font, created in 2005 (DW 21 August 2003), but found it ’too hard to buy the font so had to give up’, says Carter.
Illustrator Phil Wood worked on My Dog Nick, while Ciaran Finnegan has been commissioned to illustrate the next two books in the series. MyDog Nick is aimed at children with a spelling age of four to eight years, Will the Wizard at those with a spelling age of eight to 12 and Through The Magic Window for those with a spelling age of 12-15.
’My goal is to build lots of titles in each of the three steps,’ says Shepherd, who has written all three books. My Dog Nick is available from this week, while the second two titles could be released in the next two months.
A website for the books, designed by Berkshire digital consultancy Clever Little Design, has gone live.