Accessibility navigation

Investigating readers’ impressions of typographic differentiation using repertory grids

Moys, J.-L. (2014) Investigating readers’ impressions of typographic differentiation using repertory grids. Visible Language, 47 (3). 878. ISSN 0022-2224

Text - Accepted Version
· Please see our End User Agreement before downloading.


It is advisable to refer to the publisher's version if you intend to cite from this work. See Guidance on citing.

Official URL:


Document designers combine a range of stylistic and structural typographic attributes to articulate and differentiate information for readers. This paper explores how the kind of typographic differentiation used in a document influences readers’ impressions of documents. A preliminary study indicated that three patterns of typographic differentiation (high, moderate and low) might underlie participants’ impressions of magazine design. Subsequently, a set of nine magazine layouts with controlled content was purposefully developed to systematically examine the impact of high, moderate and low patterns of typographic differentiation on participants’ impressions of documents. These documents were used in a repertory grid procedure to investigate the kind of impressions readers articulate in relation to typographic presentation and whether readers are likely to formulate similar or differing impressions from high, moderate, and low patterns of typographic differentiation. The results suggest that typographic differentiation influences a range of rhetorical and experiential judgments. For example, participants described high differentiation documents as the most attention-grabbing and easy to skim-read, while they considered moderate and low differentiation documents to require deeper reading strategies. In addition, participants assumed high differentiation documents to be much more sensationalist than moderate or low differentiation documents, which they generally perceived as authoritative and credible.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Arts and Communication Design > Typography & Graphic Communication
ID Code:39861
Publisher:University of Cincinnati, School of Design


Downloads per month over past year

University Staff: Request a correction | Centaur Editors: Update this record

Page navigation