Publications from the Project

For teachers

The songs the letters sing provides answers to some of the questions that teachers should think about when choosing books for children:

  • are some typefaces better than others?
  • are serif and sans serif types easier or more difficult for children to read?
  • do children find infant characters easier to read?
  • how much space should there be between letters, words and lines?
  • does typography affect children's motivation to read?

It also includes children's comments:

  • What do they think about typography?
  • Do they notice differences in spacing and typefaces?

You can download a PDF copy of The songs the letters sing.

Email s.f.walker@reading.ac.uk if you would like a printed copy.

Papers in academic and professional journals

Sue Walker (2007) 'Letterforms for handwriting and reading: print script and sanserifs in early twentieth-century England', Typography Papers 7, 2007, London: Hyphen Press, pp. 81–114

Linda Reynolds, Sue Walker and Alison Duncan (2006) ‘Children’s responses to line spacing in early reading books or ‘Holes  to tell you which line you’re on’, Visible Language, 246–267 

Sue Walker (2005) 'The books that nobody sees: typography in children's reading books', Baseline, no. 48, pp. 25-32

Caroline Archer, Sue Walker and Linda Reynolds (2004) 'Typography in nineteenth-century children's readers: the Otley connection'. In: Light on the book trade: essays in honour of Peter Isaac, ed. Barry McKay, John Hinks and Maureen Bell, Oak Knoll Press and British Library, pp. 118-129

Linda Reynolds and Sue Walker (2004) 'You can't see what the words say': word spacing and letter spacing in children's reading books', Journal of Research in Reading, vol 27, no.1, pp. 87-98

Sue Walker (2003) 'Towards a method for describing the visual characteristics of children's readers and information books', Proceedings of the Information Design International Conference, 8-11 September 2003, Recife, Brazil [CD-Rom]

Sue Walker and Linda Reynolds (2002/3) 'Serifs, sans serifs and infant characters in children's reading books', Information Design Journal 11, 2/3, pp.106-22