ERIC Number: ED172262
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The Connotative Dimensions of Selected Display Typefaces.
Benton, Camille L.
The semantic differential ratings of ten typefaces given by a group of 24 subjects were factor analyzed to discover what connotative meanings laypeople applied to typefaces and how these meanings compared with those of professional typographers. The typefaces, five from general categories and five from novelty categories of display typefaces, were Helvetica, Garamond, Bodoni, Palatino, Times Roman, Cloister Black, Excelsior Script, Broadway, Libra, and Legend. The factor structure of the semantic scales revealed five dimensions of connotative meaning: potency, elegance, novelty, antiquity, and evaluation. Helvetica, the only sans serif typeface, was not perceived as differing significantly from serifed typefaces on most dimensions. Garamond, Bodoni, Palatino, and Times Roman were also perceived as having similar connotative meanings even though they were from different typeface classifications. Libra and Legend, two very distinctive novelty typefaces, were fairly neutral on all factor dimensions. At least four of the ten typefaces tested can be used interchangeably for display purposes. Connotations of the other typefaces generally reinforce the current practices of media professionals. (References, the ten display typeface samples, and a listing of connotative dimensions for each typeface tested are included.) (RL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Typeface; Typography
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (62nd, Houston, Texas, August 5-8, 1979)