What is Emphasis?

Emphasis is the focal point — the most eye-catching part — of the text. It’s the takeaway, the most important part of a message.

When composing alphabetical texts, writers create emphasis by

  • placing the most important information first
  • employing a deductive organization and thesis statement that immediately clarifies the most important information in a text
  • by repeating information.

When composing visuals, such as information visualizations or infographics, artists create emphasis by setting off one area and contrasting it with another. For instance, they may use contrasting colors, textures, sizes or styles to attract the reader’s attention to a foci point in the composition.

Principles of Design Emphasis

Writers, artists, symbol makers . . . create emphasis by using design elements to draw the readers’ attention to especially important information—i.e., the gist of the message. For instance, a designer might use bright primary colors and a large serif font to draw the reader’s attention to a Buy Now button or a Subscribe button.

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