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The Rhetoric of Typography: Effects on Reading Time, Reading Comprehension, and Perceptions of Ethos

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Abstract:

Although the field of technical communication has seen a recent flurry of activity in the area of visual rhetoric, typography has not occupied a significant role in those discussions. Yet, typography is a critical component of visual rhetoric, particularly, of course, for primarily verbal documents. The existing literature on typography looks primarily at issues of legibility and readability, and only begins to address rhetorical issues through investigation of typeface persona and appropriateness. The study presented here extends that discussion by investigating whether typeface persona shapes readers’ interactions with a document, specifically their reading comprehension, reading speed, and perceptions of ethos.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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