THE NON-DESIGNER'S TYPE BOOK
But you can do this
You have other options for emphasizing type that will create a more
sophisticated or exciting typographic look, as well as help in the organ¬
ization of information.
Using italic instead of an underline, where appropriate, is one way you can
emphasize text in a subtle way, of course. For a stronger emphasis, use the
boldest version of the typeface, or perhaps the bold italic.
For a more dramatic emphasis, use a different typeface altogether, one that
has a strong contrast to the rest of the text. For instance, if your text is a
classic oldstyle face (like what you're reading right now), use a sans serif for
emphasis. But don't use a weight that is similar to the other text, especially
for headlines—notice how much more effective the emphasis is when the
sans serif is a strong black.
If you have the opportunity to use another color, take advantage of that
color in your text or headlines when you need an emphasis. Just remember
that the less that second color appears, the more dramatic the emphasis will
be. Warm colors (reds, oranges) are the strongest, and very little goes a long
way. Cool colors (blues, greens) recede, and you can use more of them
without overwhelming the page.
If your design allows, add empty space around the text to immediately
draw more attention to it. I know, your boss doesn't like empty space—she
says that she paid for it and she wants to use it. But think of those ads in
magazines or newspapers where there is nothing at all except a few words
in the middle of the page. Ask your boss if she noticed that ad. Ask her if
she read that ad. Ask her if it is possible for anyone to open to that page
and not read that ad.
No it is not.
The boss who had the courage to pay for all that space and let it be empty
had the highest readership of any page in that entire publication. When
there is clutter, our eyes are attracted to the resting places of the blankness.
Have courage. Let the white space be there. Do you notice how much
attention is called to that one line above, "No it is not"? It appears very
important because of all the empty, white space surrounding it.