Designing a children’s book or a poster, website or app aimed at little ones? It can be difficult to find fonts that balance childlike charm with stylish flair, but we’re positive you’ll find something here to delight young and old. The best bit? These fonts are all free to use for commercial projects.
From rounded sans serifs to fun and frivolous display fonts, there’s something here to suit every children-focussed project, from picture books to learning websites.
Rounded fonts don’t feature ornate serifs or complex letterforms, making them exceptionally easy to read for early learners. Quicksand manages to balance a rounded design with a stylish, minimal aesthetic.
Free to download from FontSquirrel, the download includes a broad range of seven weights and styles, including glyphs and dashed. A versatile all-rounder for setting text in children’s books.
Named after a bird sanctuary on the Caribbean island of Trinidad, Caroni has a suitably natural, laidback feel. A handwritten script font that’s generously spaced and full of naive charm, this is a lovely novelty font for using across a range of media aimed at younger audiences.
Multilingual support is also included for Western, Central and Eastern European languages, making this a versatile font choice for those looking to translate their publications.
Designed by Johan Aakerlund, Comfortaa has a nostalgic personality. Reminiscent of rounded font styles favored during the 1960s and 1970s, the font combines retro styling with readability, making it a perfect fit for designers who want to give their children’s publications wistful appeal.
Available in three weights, Comfortaa is highly legible set at both body and headline size, making it a versatile font choice.
Described as ‘sweet and naive’ by its designer Joël Carrouché, Linotte feels friendly, open and warm, as well as being extremely easy to read, making it a good choice for designs aimed at younger children. Geometric elements are balanced with subtle quirks in the type design, making Linotte feel at once both stylishly contemporary and a whole lot of fun.
The Semibold weight is free to download from FontSpring.
5. Spilt Ink
Designing a children’s book with themes of school, art or crafts? Spilt Ink is a messy, mischievous font with heaps of personality. Best used as a display font for titles or headlines, rather than as smaller body text, maximise its charms by experimenting with bright, bold colours.
Designed by Walter Velez, Spilt Ink is free to download from FontSquirrel.
Designed by Paulo Goode, Woodford Bourne is a sans serif font family with a vintage character. Based on 19th century grotesque type styles, the result is a clean and contemporary take on old-fashioned signage fonts. Exceptionally readable, this would make an excellent font for publications and media aimed at slightly older children.
You can download 6 weights of Woodford Bourne, including Regular, Bold and Italic, from FontSpring.
A minimalist twist on comic book style, Helsinki is a refined version of the designer Vic Fieger’s own handwriting. Chunky and slightly slanted, the font is ultra-legible and has a fun, intrepid spirit. Try using this font in picture books themed on adventure and escapism.
This handwritten font is free to download on FontSquirrel.
Ignore the mildly threatening title for a moment—Headhunter would be the perfect font choice for designs themed on dinosaurs or dogs. Inject your design with a sense of fun and novelty with this free font designed by David Rakowski.
The purrrfect fit (sorry) for children’s books about animals or outdoor adventure, Firecat has a wild spirit that has a slightly retro feel. Embellish your book cover designs, posters or cartoon strips with this carefree, jungle-inspired font, available to download for free here.
A cute and bouncy rounded sans serif font, Lilly is saccharine sweet and easy to read for young learners. Created by Apostrophic Labs, Lilly has a versatility for smaller body text or titles, making it a good all-rounder for children’s design. Download Lilly at FontSquirrel here.
11. Short Stack
Designed by Sorkin Type Co, Short Stack is a naively-drawn handwritten font with childlike, rounded letterforms. Generously spaced between letters, Short Stack would be the ideal font for demonstrating the letters of the alphabet or for teaching new words to younger children.
With a compressed x-height, Short Stack feels less intimidating and more relaxed than some jauntier handwritten fonts, making it an excellent font choice for very young audiences.
Available as a free download in three styles, Playtime With Hot Toddies is a playful and casual handwritten font based on cartoon type styles. Individual quirks on letterforms give the font a more authentic look, while the rounded letterforms and thick, marker pen lines preserve legibility. An adaptable and joyful font for children’s books or children’s websites.