Understanding Functions of Typography in Teenage Novels


This study explores the functions of typography in teenage novels. Typography is a form of multimodality that rarely gains attention. It is considered multimodal because it facilitates the construction of meaning of two modes i.e. written language and its visual presentation. The preliminary stage of this study is an observation on teenage novels, which revealed the use of a combination of standard computer-produced fonts and ornamental hand-writing like fonts in their pages. Therefore, the study aims to elaborate the functions of typography found in these teenage novels. The data analyses were conducted using Stöckl’s framework in typography analysis, which posit that based on its position in the text, typography can occupy different domains of microtypography, mesotypography, and macrotypography. Further, the different forms of typography found in these levels will be elaborated based on the functions relative to the main plot of the story in the novels. The result of the study will provide insights on the functions of the typography for the possible reading mechanism of teenage novels. 

Keywords: typography, font, hand-writing, microtypography, teenage novels 

[1] Jewitt, C. E. The Routledge handbook of multimodal analysis. London: Routledge; 2011.

[2] Kress, G. Multimodality: A social semiotic approach to contemporary communication. London: Routledge; 2010.

[3] Stöckl, H. Typography: body and dress of a text-a signing mode between language and image. Visual Communication, 2005;4(2):204-214. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1470357205053403

[4] Kress, G. & Van Leeuwen, T. Reading images: The grammar of visual design. London: Routledge; 2006.

[5] Van Leeuwen, T. Typographic meaning. Visual Communication, 2005;4(2):137-143.

[6] Van Leeuwen, T. Towards a semiotics of typography. Information Design Journal & Document Design, 2006;14(2):139-155. https://doi.org/10.1075/idj.14.2.06lee

[7] Damayanti, I. L., & Febrianti, Y. Multimodal literacy: Unfolding reading path in children’s picture book and its potential for EFL classrooms. Indonesian Journal of Applied Linguistics, 2020;9(3):616-627. https://doi.org/10.17509/ijal.v9i3.23212

[8] Zhao, S., Djonov, E., & Van Leeuwen, T. Semiotic technology and practice: A multimodal social semiotic approach to PowerPoint. Text & Talk, 2014;34(3):349-375. https://doi.org/10.1515/text-2014-0005

[9] Djonov, E., & Van Leeuwen, T. Between the grid and composition: Layout in PowerPoint's design and use. Semiotica, 2013;197:1-34. https://doi.org/10.1515/sem-2013-0078

[10] Van Leeuwen, T., & Djonov, E. Notes towards a semiotics of kinetic typography. Social Semiotics, 2015;25(2):244-253. https://doi.org/10.1080/10350330.2015.1010324

[11] Renandya, W. A., Krashen, S., & Jacobs, G. M. The potential of series books: How narrow reading leads to advanced L2 proficiency. LEARN Journal: Language Education and Acquisition Research Network, 2018;11(2):148-154.