Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Printing and Journalism


Research concerning reading speed, type size, leading, and line width has been conducted in a systematic way for the past 50 years. The Minnesota eye-movement camera was used to reveal the specific patterns of eye movements involved in reading optimal versus non-optimal lines widths. In contradiction to Tinker and Paterson, Matthew Luckiesh and Frank Moss concluded that the readability of 10-point Text type with 2 points of leading diminishes as the length of line is increased from 13 to about 21 picas; and that further increases in the line length result in less important changes in readability. Leading (spacing between lines) appears to have a definite effect on the legibility of type. They found that a slight increase in readability resulted when leading was introduced in 5-point type. Later, an experimenter named Bentley found that with different amounts of leading the rate of reading changed. Today, the newspaper is in strict competition with many other types of communication media. Tinker and Paterson found that most newspapers before World War II were in a trend toward larger type sizes and longer line widths, but the newspapers changed to space-saving column form after the war started. Subsidiary reasons for undertaking this study are to ascertain whether there is any relationship between reading speed and these characteristics of readers: sex, age, and year in school, wearing reading glasses, self-appraisal of amount of reading done.

Library of Congress Subject Headings



Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University