VISUAL REQUIREMENTS OF READING: DISTRIBUTIONS OF PRINT SIZES IN U.S. NEWSPAPERS

Title VISUAL REQUIREMENTS OF READING: DISTRIBUTIONS OF PRINT SIZES IN U.S. NEWSPAPERS
Author, Co-Author Laura Demarco, Robert Massof
Topic
Year
1992
Day
Monday
Program Number
Poster 50
Room
Great Hall
Affiliation
Abstract In order to prescribe appropriate reading aids it is necessary to know the visual requirements of specific reading tasks that must be performed to meet the patient's goals. Inability to read the newspaper is a frequently heard complaint from low vision patients. A common rule of thumb is to recommend optical aids for reading the newspaper that would appropriately magnify 1M print (1.5mm). However, there is considerable diversity among patients in the newspaper items that are of interest to them (e.g., 'Dear Abbey', TV listings, stock market quotations, sports scores, etc.); different sections of the newspaper commonly are printed with different font sizes, and there may be considerable variability between newspapers in the font sizes employed. We have measured print size in ten different sections of the newspaper for over 100 U.S. newspapers, representing all major cities and all 50 states. In each case, the height of the lower case 'o' was measured to the nearest 0.1mm using a reticle. The sections of the newspaper in which print was measured are: front page articles, classified ads, comics captions, cross word puzzle clues, obituaries, sports page box scores, stock market quotations, syndicated columns, TV listings, and weather reports. Means, standard deviations, and percentiles of distributions of print size for each newspaper section will be presented. We find that within a newspaper, print size between sections may vary by more than a factor of two and within a section, print size may vary between newspapers by more than a factor of 1.5.
Affiliation of Co-Authors
Outline