Describing the design of children’s books: an analytical approach
Walker, S. (2012) Describing the design of children’s books: an analytical approach. Visible Language, 46 (3). ISSN 0022-2224
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Descriptions of graphic language are relatively rare compared to descriptions of spoken language. This paper presents an analytical approach to studying the visual attributes and conventions in children’s reading and information books. The approach comprises development of a checklist to record ‘features’ of visual organization, such as those relevant to typography and layout, illustration and the material qualities of the books, and consideration of the contextual factors that influence the ways that features have been organized or treated. The contextual factors particularly relevant to children’s reading include educational policy, legibility and vision research and typeface development and availability. The approach to analysis and description is illustrated with examples of children’s reading and information books from the Typographic Design for Children database, which also demonstrates an application of the checklist approach.