Date of Award

Spring 1988

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Pokrywczynski, James

Second Advisor

Smith, C. Zoe

Third Advisor

Griffin, Robert


This is an investigation of the influence typecase has on recognition of print advertising headlines. After reviewing print ad effectiveness research and legibility research, it uses information processing theory and typecase legibility research results to hypothesize that (a) initially there will be no difference in recognition of headlines in all upper case type versus lower case type; and (b) after a one-week delay, headline recognition will be significantly better for headlines in lower case type. The hypotheses were tested in a controlled experiment using 114 college students as voluntary subjects. T-tests supported the first hypothesis and failed to support the second. Repeated measures analysis of variance showed there were gender differences in initial recognition scores for lower case headlines, with females scoring significantly higher than males. This analysis also indicated possible differences in involvement with either the experiment or advertising that influenced the recognition results. A second experiment was done to validate the assumption based on legibility research results that advertising headlines in lower case would be read faster than those in upper case. The subject-recorded reading times were not significantly different according to T-test results. Recognition scores for the validation test were roughly comparable to those for the experiment, and gender differences similar to those in the experiment surfaced. It is suggested that further research be done to determine the influences of typecase on headline effectiveness and to explore the causes of the gender and involvement differences that appeared in both experiments.