Exploring the design of children’s books

Welcome to the Typographic Design for Children database. This contains detailed records of the visual attributes of a representative sample of reading books for young children dating from around 1850 to around 1960. It provides information about typography, use of illustration, navigation, structures, format, binding and printing processes, and allows you to view high-quality illustrations of relevant elements.

The database was developed as part of the Typographic Design for Children project based in the Department of Typography & Graphic Communication at the University of Reading, and funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. One of the objectives of this project was to describe the changes in typographic presentation of reading books for young children and this database began as one of the research tools used in the project.

New material will continue to be added, and the second part of the site, which records visual attributes in children’s ‘information books’ (factual, non-fiction texts) from the same period will be added soon.

Finding books in the database

You can search the database: