British graphic designer and calligrapher, Rosemary Sassoon (b. 1931), who is one of the world’s leading researchers studying children’s reading and handwriting, designed the original Sassoon Primary typeface. Starting in 1985, in partnership with type designer Adrian Williams (b. 1950), she has developed a children’s literacy support system comprising about 60 digital fonts grouped into type families aimed at different levels of reading and handwriting.
Nowadays, Sassoon-Williams digital types are used in several countries, and integrated into important teaching schemes in the United Kingdom, such as Penpals for Handwriting (Cambridge University Press) and Morrells Handwriting.
Among the main features of the Sassoon approach is the formal progression between stages of writing. Its letterforms are based on simplified italics with oval foundational forms and plain uppercase letters. Extenders are of medium length, and letters have no lead-in strokes. There are variations to the model that have loops in the descending extensions, alternate letter shapes and different joins between letters.