7 Fantastic Apps for Teaching Typography

What better way to help kids explore the world of fonts than with mobile apps? With a host of handy apps available for a number of platforms, you are sure to find one that will keep you and your students happy. Our choice of apps include educational type apps, font resource apps, and apps that allow students to design with fonts.

The Typography Manual by Justin Stahl

This is truly a masterpiece when it comes to typography apps. First off it is an educational reference manual, exploring the history of typography, explaining the basics of type, providing guidelines for properly setting type and special characters, and examining typography on the web. The glossary is an incredible resource of more than one hundred typography terms, not just defined, but illustrated to provide visual reference. The app is packed with all sorts of useful tools, such as a style guide, an Em calculator to help develop scalable type, and a font size ruler, to measure printed fonts. Truly a treasure trove for students and teachers alike. Platform: iOS 4.3 or later, iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch Cost: $3.99. 

WhatTheFont by MyFonts Inc.

Send your students on a font scavenger hunt with this handy app! All they need to do is snap a picture of an interesting looking font they see on a flyer, poster, packaging, or anywhere, and WhatTheFont can analyze and determine what font was used. Platform: iPhone (Android coming soon). Cost: Free. 

iFontMaker by Eiji Nishidai

Your students will be able to develop their own application-ready fonts with this handy app designed specifically for iPad. Although it may sound simple, this is a truly powerful app which delivers the ability to convert handwriting into fonts that can be converted into TFF files that can be used in Microsoft Office and other programs. Platform: iPad (iOS 5.0 or later) Cost: $6.99. 

Fonts Quiz by FedApp Mobile

While this app does not have users identify fonts, it still illustrates the power of typography by having users identify brands based on the font/design scheme uses. More than 150 brands included. Platform: Android Cost: Free. 

Font.My InstaFontMaker 

Without going into all the technical parts of typography like spacing, weight, etc., this app allows users to use their own handwriting to create fonts that are converted into TFF files for use on applications. Platform: Android Cost: Free.

The Font Game by Justin Stahl

Does memorizing a list of fonts seem boring for your students? Challenge them with The Font Game for iPhone. The game presents a word in a certain font. Hints and information can be explored before selecting a font name, but can reduce your score. Several levels of game play available. The terminology game is a bit more different, but again helps reinforce typography terms in a format more appealing for kids. Platform: iOS 4.1 or later: iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Cost: $1.99.

TypeDrawing for iPad by Hansol Huh

Another innovative typography app, TypeDrawing allows users to type a sentence, then draw a shape with their fingers. Their text is adjusted to fit the shape and create a one-of-a-kind text image. Platform: iPad, iOS 5.0 or later Cost: $2.99.

About the author : sam