What resource to learn about the psychological effects of typography?

The recent questions I’ve asked all about how to achieve a special psychological effect in typography, and I think I need to have a better insights on the psychology of typography to effectively convey the readers the effects I want. I know after all typography is about that, but despite reading many articles about italic and bold, only today that I can finally satisfactorily differentiate when to use these emphasis:

  • Bold: introducing definitions or making comparisons, when the emphasis effects shouldn’t be fleeting.
  • Italic: nuances emphasis, when the word in emphasis naturally embeds in the reading flow.
  • Underline: sentence breakdown, when in one case nearby words form one group, while in another case nearby words form different groups
  • Quote: wording choice, which can be a new term just being coined, or a sarcasm

But there are more options to make a contrast: color, x-height, typeface, kerning, spacing, all caps, etc:

Source: Colour and typography – A Practical Guide to Web App Success

I’m paralyzed. Is there a resource to learn about the psychology of typography? One of my focus is to document linguistic features, but I want to learn about the topic in general. I’m looking for something like How do designers choose shapes in a design?, or mỏe descriptive like “on average a person stops at an italic word for x second, and a bold word for y seconds”.

*Recent questions I’ve asked:
How to “italicize” a word in an italic context?
How to know which second typeface should be used, given a contextual typeface?
How to make the difference in x-height not affect the readability?
How to set the tone of large passages of text without italics?


I don’t think Psychology is the proper search term to associate what you’re looking for in relation to your line(s) of questioning here in graphicdesign.stackexchange.

Rather than Psychology of Typography, look into “Semiotics” and “Interpretation” of Typography.

The extent to which the visual aspect of printed verbal language is meaning-making in its own right, and how it interacts with other modes of meaning in a complex process of semiosis.

Start here: https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/7d30/cde598aa0e66f661df1640f54b5b91decd73.pdf

Good luck.

Note: There will still be some ambiguity as you move into this area of study that will give you cause for grief. For example: In semiotical discussions of typography, colour refers to hue (green, red, etc.). In typographical discussions of colour, it refers to the density of the resulting “grey” when viewed from a distance. Condensed type has a darker “colour” from expanded type.

Source : Link , Question Author : Ooker , Answer Author : Stan

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