World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0003099560
Reproduction Date:

Title: Large-print  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: German Central Library for the Blind, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Visual impairment, Blindness, Albinism
Collection: Blindness, Typography
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Large-print (also large-type or large-font) refers to the formatting of a book or other text document in which the typeface (or font), and sometimes the medium, are considerably larger than usual, to accommodate people who have poor vision. Often public special-needs libraries will stock large-print versions of books, along with versions written in Braille.

Among librarians Large Print is defined as print that is at least 18 points in size.


  • History 1
  • Publishing standards 2
  • Readable fonts 3
  • Recent developments 4
  • References 5
  • See also 6


Large Print book publishing in English began in 1964 in Leicester, England when Frederick Thorpe, a retired book and magazine distributor, decided to meet the needs of elderly poor-sighted readers by reprinting older classic books in editions about twice the physical size of the original book.[1] The type inside was enlarged to about twice the size of the original printing. The books were given plain dustjackets with type only, color-coded to indicate categories like mysteries (black), general fiction (red), romances (blue), Westerns (orange) and so forth. These editions met the need but were difficult for frail elderly readers to handle because they were oversize.

In 1969 Thorpe's company, Ulverscroft, began to retypeset the books in 16 point type and print them in normal-sized bindings, again with color-coded plain jackets. This change greatly increased the acceptance of Large Print in public libraries. Thorpe himself became a Large Print ambassador, travelling around the English-speaking world promoting the acquisition of Large Print books for seniors.[2]

Today Large Print editions of some current books are published simultaneously with regular print editions by their publishers and usually feature the same full-colour jackets and jacket design. Many, if not most public libraries in the English-speaking world have Large Print sections and most bookstores do carry some Large Print editions.

Publishing standards

The National Association for Visually Handicapped (NAVH) provides the NAVH Seal of Approval to commercial publishers for books that meet their large print standards.[3] (Lighthouse International acquired NAVH in 2010).[4]

The standards[5] call for:

  • Maximum limits on size, thickness, and weight
  • Minimum limits on margins
  • Type size at least 16 point, preferably 18 point
  • Sans serif or modified serif font recommended
  • Adequate letter and word spacing
  • Flexible binding recommended to allow open book to lie flat

Readable fonts

For many people with visual impairment enlarging the type is not enough. Fonts designed for readability make it easier to distinguish one character from another. Some characteristics of such fonts are:[6]

Examples of more-easily read fonts are APHont, Antique Olive, Helvetica, Tahoma, and Verdana. APHont was developed for the non-profit AmericanPrinting House for the Blind. They also make it available as a free download for individual use by those with vision problems.[7]

Recent developments

Since 2005 some companies, notably ReadHowYouWant, have begun offering a variety of font sizes for Large Print books. This allows readers to choose the font that best suits them when purchasing a book. The font size usually varies from more regular sizes (11 and 13 point fonts) through to large (16 to 20 point fonts) and Super Large (up to 48 point fonts).[8] These books can also be purchased in Bold.


  1. ^ The Ulverscroft Foundation, "How the Ulverscroft Foundation began", accessed 24 July 2007
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^

See also

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.