Blake Snow

writer-for-hire, content guy, bestselling author

As seen on CNN, NBC, ABC, Fox, Wired, Yahoo!, BusinessWeek, Wall Street Journal
It looks like you're new. Click here to learn more.

Smooth Harold mailbag: Italicizing quotes?

I received the below reader email Thursday, inquiring about the best way to highlight text within a paragraph.

I’m a design student working on a book layout and wanted to add some texture to my text, but not if it impedes readability. One of your articles deplored in-line bolding, but what about italicizing? And if that’s acceptable, are the commas, quotation marks, and the speaker’s name (“______,” says Mr. X, “_______.”) also italicized? — Jo

Thanks for reaching out, Jo. I’m in no way the authority on typography design, but I don’t think italics are the readable friendly design answer. Why don’t you use a call-out (also called a pull quote)?

Pull quote or call-out example

That way you can ensure consistent type in the meat of your copy, and still highlight important parts for the reader. For even more texture, try a drop cap.