Does the presentation of everything in italics annoy you? When is it appropriate to utilize italics, and when should they be avoided?

Italics should be used very sparingly and strategically in catalog design.
Here are some key guidelines:

1. Avoid Using Italics for Emphasis
Sources explicitly advise against using italics merely for emphasis in technical writing and design.
The APA style guide states “In general, avoid using italics for emphasis.” Instead, italics should be reserved for specific cases outlined below.

2. Use Italics for Titles of Larger Works
Several sources, recommend using italics for titles of books, reports, magazines, films, and other standalone published works if referenced within the catalog text. However, italics would not be needed for product names or headers within the catalog itself.

3. Italicize Key Terms on First Use
Both the APA guide and Walden University guide suggest italicizing key terms or phrases when first introduced and defined within the body text. This could apply to introducing critical PPE terminology in the catalog.

4. Use Italics Sparingly Overall
Multiple sources, like the Vanderbilt guide, emphasize using italics very sparingly overall in professional writing and design to avoid diminishing legibility and appearing amateurish.

In summary, for a catalog, italics have a very limited role – primarily for referencing titles of larger published works and potentially introducing key terminology on first use. But italics should be avoided for general emphasis, and overall should be used judiciously to maintain a clean, professional, and highly readable design focused on communicating vital safety information.