(…) because language is a matter of words, structures, and sounds, the devices of emphasis may be considered within semantic, syntactic, and phonological scopes. (Eslami e Rezai, 2013)

Ênfase – Modo exagerado, empolado ou afectado de escrever ou falar. realce. destaque.
Enfático – Que tem ênfase. Empolado.
Enfatismo – Uso exagerado da ênfase. (Faria e Pericão, 2008: 468)

Emphasizing a word or phrase within a body of text usually requires only one signal. Italic is the standard form of emphasis. (Lupton, 2004: 94)

In addition to the iconic use of visual salience to create the meaning of sonic salience, a different kind of visual salience – that of italics – is often used to signify a different kind of salience, namely emphasis on word-meaning. (Norgaard, 2009: 150-151)

I speak of the use of italics to create emphasis. This is a manipulation of the visual aspects of text that has been codified, and thus it is accepted. (Lucek, 2010: 3)

Key words to be emphasized are likely to be set in italic. (Tschichold, 1991)


[On the 15th century] the use of italics and small capitals would replace the use of color as a way of showing emphasis. (Eskilson 2012, 15)

Italics were seen as a method of adding variety to typestyles on a page of text. (Whitbread, 2001)

(…) the visual contrast between the text in regular type and the text in italics may be seen as iconically signifying difference in terms of meaning. (Norgaard, 2009: 150-151) [But there are contradictory opinions regarding the use of italics.]

[According with Tschichold] Neither italic nor small capitals must be used, even in textbooks, if all they do is act as signals, as a means of synoptically organization. [For him] Indeed, small caps and italics should not serve to emphasize a word but rather to clarify it and differentiate it from the rest. (Tschichold, 1991) [For Spencer (1969), Tinker (1963) and Wheildon] the use of italics greatly reduces the comprehension of any written material. The reason given by all these writers comes back to the degradation of the word image.  (Whitbread, 2001) [Lonsdale adds that] Studies have been carried out exploring the use of italic in continuous prose instead of roman lowercase characters, and have shown that the use of italics retards reading. (Lonsdale, 2014: 35)

[Others]  such as Spencer (1969), Hartley (1986) and Zachrisson (1965) suggest that the slope of many type styles of italics is so significantly altered from the 90 degrees of normal type that it distorts the shape of the word-image. [Whitbread recommends] that italics be used very sparingly and that the only use is for titles of artistic works as indicated in the Government Style Guide. (Whitbread, 2001)


Eskilson, Stephen J. (2012). Graphic Design: A New History. 2ª ed. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. Disponível em: http://yalepress.yale.edu/yupbooks/excerpts/9780300172607_excerpt_eskilson.pdf

Eslami, Ahmad Reza, e Rezai, Mohammad Javad. (2013). “Lexicalization vs. Vocalization: A Cross-Linguistic Study of Emphasis in English and Persian”. Disponível em: http://rals.scu.ac.ir/pdf_10444_3bdc63a1fcb46df94f51206dc59f1fd1.html

Faria, Maria Isabel, e Pericão, Maria da Graça. (2008). Dicionário do Livro: da Escrita ao Livro Eletrónico. Coimbra: Edições Almedina.

Galey, Alan, Bath, Jon, Niles, Rebecca, e Cunningham, Richard. (2012). “Imagining the Architectures of the Book: Textual Scholarship and the Digital Book Arts”. Textual Cultures: Texts, Contexts, Interpretation 7 (2): 20-42. Disponível em: http://rebeccaniles.net/PDF/TextualCultures7.2.pdf

Lonsdale, Maria dos Santos. (2014). “Typographic Features of Text: Outcomes from Research and Practice.” Visible Language 48 (3): 29 – 67. Disponível em: http://www.sheltonography.com/resources/Articles/SemioticsofTypography.pdf

Lucek, Amanda. (2010). Books on the Brink: Two Revolutions of Reading, Why They’ve Been Resisted, and Whether that Resistance Can Last. Disponível em: https://www.techhouse.org/~amanda/vol1vol2/o/BooksOnTheBrink.pdf

Lupton, Ellen. (2004). Thinking With Type: a Critical Guide For Designers, Writers, Editors & Studants. New York: Princeton Architectural Press. Disponível em: file:///C:/Users/User/Desktop/Thinking_With_Type__Ellen_Lupton.pdf

Norgaard, Nina. (2009). “The Semiotics of Typography in Literary Texts”. Orbis Litterarum 64 (2): 141–160. Disponível em: http://www.sheltonography.com/resources/Articles/SemioticsofTypography.pdf

Tschichold, Jan. (1991). The Form of the Book: Essays on the Morality of Good Design. London: Lund Humphries.

Whitbread, David. (2001). The Design Manual. Sydney: UNSW Press. Disponível em: http://www.pixellized.com/assets/david-whitbread—the-design-manual.pdf



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