Oblique type

Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used for the same purposes as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except slanted. Oblique and italic type are technical terms to distinguish between the two ways of creating slanted font styles; oblique designs may be labelled italic by companies selling fonts or by computer programs. Oblique designs may also be called slanted or sloped roman styles.[1] Oblique fonts, as supplied by a font designer, may be simply slanted, but this is often not the case: many have slight corrections made to them to give curves more consistent widths, so they retain the proportions of counters and the thick-and-thin quality of strokes from the regular design.[2][3]

An example text written three times in a typeface by Jean Jannon, each time with a different style. From top to bottom: Roman, italic and an oblique created by sloping the roman type.

Type designers have described oblique type as less organic and calligraphic than italics, which in some situations may be preferred. Contemporary type designer Jeremy Tankard stated that he had avoided a true italic 'a' and 'e' in his design Bliss due to finding them "too soft", while Hoefler and Frere-Jones have described obliques as more "keen and insistent".[4][5]


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