Preference for newspaper size

Appl Ergon. 2014 May;45(3):571-6. doi: 10.1016/j.apergo.2013.07.015. Epub 2013 Aug 26.


The past few years has seen a change in the size of newspapers, with publishers moving to a smaller size format. Five 'standard' newspaper sizes are used in different countries: Broadsheet, Rhensch, Tabloid, Tall Tabloid and Berliner. These papers vary in both width and height of pages and hence there are implications for human reading comfort, which may be dependent on reading location such as on a lounge chair or on a train. Experiments were carried out to determine preferences for the different sizes and to relate these preferences to the geometric characteristics of the newspapers. For both comfortable and cramped/uncomfortable reading conditions, the rank order of preference for paper types was, from least to most-preferred, Broadsheet, Rhensch, Berliner, Tall Tabloid and Tabloid. Preferences were much stronger when determined in cramped/uncomfortable reading conditions, where most comparisons were significantly different. There was good correlation between participant ratings on several scales and preference, where most factors were related to comfort of holding and controlling the paper.

Keywords: Newspaper size; Reading comfort; Scaling.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Consumer Behavior
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Newspapers as Topic / standards*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Reading*
  • Young Adult