Most children's first encounter with words and the act of reading is in the form of having a children's book read to them. Whether it is a cardboard book with only a sprinkling of words, an illustrated storybook with more narrative, or an independent reader with a few images and a larger concentration of words, children's books are essential to developing a child's reading ability and to fostering an enthusiasm for reading. Despite the importance of these books, their typographic design is often neglected. Little attention is paid to the integration of text and image, and typographic variables are often overused. Both of these mistakes can obscure comprehension of the story. This thesis will define what factors influence reading comprehension in children, from early childhood when the reading process is beginning through the later stages of development until approximately age ten. Through the study of typographic variables as they apply to page layout and overall book design for children, the strategies and roles of meaningful typographic decision-making will be identified, and the ways in which these decisions can aid in the development of reading skills in children will be explored.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Book design; Children's books--Design; Illustrated children's books--Design; Graphic design (Typography); Reading comprehension

Publication Date


Document Type


Student Type


Degree Name

Graphic Design (MFA)

Department, Program, or Center

School of Design (CIAS)


Deborah Deardslee

Advisor/Committee Member

Kari Horowicz

Advisor/Committee Member

Kirsten Condry


Physical copy available from RIT's Wallace Library at Z116.A3 F47 2007


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