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Old 12-12-2006, 06:02 PM   #1
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Default Sloped romans vs true italics

A very nice discusson of the use of sloped romans rather than true italics is going on on Typophile right now. Some of it is mundane or old-hat, but David Berlow, as usual, casts a bright light on the topic. (His is the 7th comment in the thread.)

Much is made of Stanley Morison’s proposal in favor of sloped romans because he said they blend in better with roman text. A few type designers have attempted to do just that — Eric Gill with Perpetua; van Krimpen with Romulus; among others.

I must admit that I always dislike sloped romans. There is something almost unnatural and mechanical about roman letters that slant, for one thing. For another, I want italics to be distinguished from the roman text — they are meant for emphasis, after all.

Someone in that thread mentions the lovely Oldrich Hlavsa book A Book of Type and Design. Hlavsa refers to italics as “faces standing on the line dividing the roman face from script type. Italics are the products of a protracted conflict between two contrasting views in the course of the development of typefaces.”

Makes sense to me.

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