Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Printing and Journalism


Considerable research has been done on newspapers in the areas of type sizes, typefaces, leading between lines, readability, legibility and column widths. Tinker and Paterson conducted another study to determine the influence of line width and leading on the speed of reading 9-point type. The results indicate that optimal rate of reading occurs with line widths of 14 to 30 picas and with 1 to 4 pints leading. The Tinker and Paterson studies dealt with reading speed, the Murphy study concerned the proportion of readers who actually read the stories in the alternate forms, and the Hvistendahl study concerned reader estimates of attractiveness and reading speed of type set in two widths. This study deals with the typesetting speed, or the actual amount of written material that can be composed by a line-casting machine operator in two different column widths in a given period of time. It is also the objective of this study to determine the differences in hyphenation between the two measures, and the difference in words set per 100 ems between the two measures, and the difference in words set per 100 ems between the two measures, if such differences exist. Today many newspapers try to reduce typesetting costs by using Linotypes operated automatically by perforated tapes. This operation however, involves an extra step because someone must first punch the tape on another machine, the Tele typesetter perforator. The reason for choosing 15 picas as an ideal column width to compare against the 11-pica column is that The Wall Street Journal and The National Observer are both set on the wider measure.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Printing -- Specimans


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University