143: The Language of Mister Rogers

The number 143 was a special number in the eyes of Mister Fred Rogers. He equated it to the phrase “I love you,” according to the amount of letters in each word. Oddly enough, Fred Rogers kept his personal weight at a flat 143 pounds most of his life. This book contains a visual narrative of the actor for Officer Clemmons on Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, François Clemmons, who reminisces about his positive encounters with Fred Rogers for StoryCorps online. The fondness with which Clemmons speaks of Rogers embodies the phrase “I love you,” as do the acts of kindness related in his story.


Publication Design


Imagine what our real neighborhoods would be like if each of us offered, as a matter of course, just one kind word to another person.
— Fred Rogers

143: The Language of Mister Rogers is hand-bound and Coptic stitched, giving the book a homey and welcoming feel, much like how Fred Rogers’ personality was.




The nature of the book is generally a friendly one, and thus the typography needed to reflect an amiable feel. The use of Bookman JF Pro is redolent of the 80s era during which Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood became highly popular and is similar in characteristic to the typeface in the show’s branding. ITC Avante Garde Gothic has friendly, round letters and is highly legible, inviting the reader to delve into the book and really feel like they’re home.




Color plays an integral part of this book, giving it the warm feel of a publication that gives homage to Mister Rogers himself. The yellow is reminiscent of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Trolley and compliments the blue hue of Mister Rogers’ iconic cozy cardigan.

The world needs a sense of worth, and it will achieve it only by its people feeling that they are worthwhile.
— Fred Rogers