Publication details [#60927]

Dyson, Mary C. and Sofie Beier. 2016. Investigating typographic differentiation: Italics are more subtle than bold for emphasis. Information Design Journal 22 (1) : 3–18.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


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.