As soon as I found out about the release of Playpen Sans, designed by Laura Meseguer, Veronika Burian, and José Scaglione, I typeset the “Cổ tích nhi đồng” sample page again. Playpen Sans has an organic handwriting quality that fits well with the folk tales for children.
When setting the stories in Playpen Sans’s regular weight, I was surprised how well the text can be read. The TypeTogether team had done an exceptional job of keeping the authenticity of the handwriting style without compromising readability. Striking that balance requires research, time, and skills. The final product shows that they had invested in all three.
Playpen Sans comes with Vietnamese diacritics right from the initial release. The combinations, the stacks, and the positions of the marks are spot on. What I love the most is the bottom tail of the hook above, which adds a handwriting touch to the mark. In my type reviews, I always recommend the bottom tail.
While admiring the diacritical marks, it occurred to me that I have seen this typeface before. I went back to my font review archive and there was Playpen Sans, but under a different name. José Scaglione had sent it to me a while ago to review. I almost forgot all about it until now. It is incredible that they made Playpen Sans free for anyone to use.