Serifs, sans serifs and infant characters in children’s reading books
This paper describes part of the work of the Typographic Design for Children project at The University of Reading. The aim was to find out whether children found serif or sans serif types easier or more difficult to read, and whether they found text with infant characters (e.g. variants of ‘a’ and ‘g’) easier or more difficult to read. We listened to 6-year-old children reading in a classroom, using specially-designed, high quality test material set in Gill Sans and Century with and without infant characters. We also asked children for their views about the typefaces used. We used miscue analysis to study tapes of children’s reading to see whether more errors occurred in text set in a particular typeface. The substitution category of miscue was explored in more depth to see whether differences were attributable to typeface. The results show that children in our test group could read text set in Gill and Century equally well.