Sue Walker

Susan Walker

Sue Walker
United Kingdom
WG Member – WG4
Position Paper

I am based in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading where we describe our research as ‘design for reading’ My particular contribution has been typography for children’s reading and has included two AHRC-funded projects looking at typefaces and their spacing in UK primary classrooms, and an historical study looking at typography in children’s reading books in the C20.
My other research interest is information design – the presentation of (usually) complicated information in ways that can readily understood by those needing to access the content. This work brings together the verbal and graphic presentation of language, and user-centred design. The Centre for Information Design Research undertakes work relevant to government, education and health

Recently I have worked on another AHRC-funded project looking at information books for children design by Marie Neurath (who with Otto Neurath) developed Isotype (see

Select publications
Book design for children’s reading, London: St Bride Foundation, 2013
‘Graphic explanation for children 1944–71’, in Burke, C., Kindel, E., and Walker, S. (eds), Isotype: design and contexts 1925–1971, London: Hyphen Press 2013
‘Describing the design of children’s books: an analytical approach’, Visible Language, 2012, 46.3, pp.180–200
‘Explaining history to children: Otto and Marie Neurath’s work on the Visual history of mankind’; Journal of Design History, 2012, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 345¬–362
‘Children’s responses to line spacing in early reading books or ‘Holes to tell you which line you’re on’, Visible Language, 2006, 246–267 (with Linda Reynolds and Alison Duncan)
The songs letters sing: typography and children’s reading, Reading: National Centre for
Language and Literacy, 2005 [24pp] ISBN 07049 98467
‘“You can’t see what the words say”: word spacing and letter spacing in children’s reading books’, Journal of Research in Reading, 2004, vol. 27, no. 1, pp. 87-98 (with L. Reynolds)
‘Serifs, sans serifs and infant characters in children’s reading books’, Information Design Journal, 20002/3, vol. 11, no. 2/3, pp. 106-22 (with L. Reynolds)
‘Screen design for children’s reading’ Journal of Research in Reading, 2000, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 224–34 (with L. Reynolds)

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