Italic type

In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised form of calligraphic handwriting.[1][2][3] Along with blackletter and roman type, it served as one of the major typefaces in the history of Western typography.

Ludovico Arrighi's early "chancery italic" typeface, c.1527. At that time italic was only used for the lower case and not for capitals.

Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics normally slant slightly to the right, like this. Different glyph shapes from roman type are usually used  another influence from calligraphy  and upper-case letters may have swashes, flourishes inspired by ornate calligraphy.

Historically, italics were a distinct style of type used entirely separately from roman type, but they have come to be used in conjunctionmost fonts now come with a roman type and an italic type. In this usage, italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed text, to identify many types of creative works, to cite foreign words or phrases, or, when quoting a speaker, a way to show which words they stressed. One manual of English usage described italics as "the print equivalent of underlining"; in other words, underscore in a manuscript directs a typesetter to use italic.[4]

In fonts which do not have true italics, oblique type may be used instead. The difference between true italics and oblique type is that true italics have some letterforms different from the roman type, but in oblique type letters are just slanted without changing the roman type form.

The name comes from the fact that calligraphy-inspired typefaces were first designed in Italy, to replace documents traditionally written in a handwriting style called chancery hand. Aldus Manutius and Ludovico Arrighi (both between the 15th and 16th centuries) were the main type designers involved in this process at the time.

Share this article:

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Italic type, and is written by contributors. Text is available under a CC BY-SA 4.0 International License; additional terms may apply. Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.