Investigating typographic differentiation: Italics are more subtle than bold for emphasis
Text designers are likely to benefit from guidance on how to use typographic differentiation for emphasis. Three experiments use purposely-designed fonts to explore the size and nature of differences in the stylistic characteristics of fonts (weight, width, contrast, italic) which affect letter identification. Results indicate that words set in bold and expanded fonts, when alternated with words set in a Neutral test font, may impair performance, whereas changing to italic does not. Possible explanations are explored through measuring the physical and perceptual similarities of the test fonts.
Keywords: typography, salience, typeface, legibility
Published online: 28 July 2016
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