Italic type
Overview
 
In typography
Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

, italic type is a cursive
Cursive
Cursive, also known as joined-up writing, joint writing, or running writing, is any style of handwriting in which the symbols of the language are written in a simplified and/or flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing easier or faster...

 typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

 based on a stylized form of calligraphic handwriting
Handwriting
Handwriting is a person's particular & individual style of writing with pen or pencil, which contrasts with "Hand" which is an impersonal and formalised writing style in several historical varieties...

. Owing to the influence from calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

, such typefaces often slant slightly to the right. Different glyph
Glyph
A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

 shapes from roman type
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

 are also usually used—another influence from calligraphy. It is distinct therefore from oblique type
Oblique type
Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted...

, in which the font is merely distorted into a slanted orientation. However, uppercase letters are often oblique type or swash capitals
Swash (typography)
A swash is a typographical flourish on a glyph, like an exaggerated serif.Capital swash characters, which extended to the left, were historically often used to begin sentences. There were also minuscule swash characters, which came either extending to the left, to begin words, or to the right to...

 rather than true italics.

This style is called "italic" for historical reasons.
Encyclopedia
In typography
Typography
Typography is the art and technique of arranging type in order to make language visible. The arrangement of type involves the selection of typefaces, point size, line length, leading , adjusting the spaces between groups of letters and adjusting the space between pairs of letters...

, italic type is a cursive
Cursive
Cursive, also known as joined-up writing, joint writing, or running writing, is any style of handwriting in which the symbols of the language are written in a simplified and/or flowing manner, generally for the purpose of making writing easier or faster...

 typeface
Typeface
In typography, a typeface is the artistic representation or interpretation of characters; it is the way the type looks. Each type is designed and there are thousands of different typefaces in existence, with new ones being developed constantly....

 based on a stylized form of calligraphic handwriting
Handwriting
Handwriting is a person's particular & individual style of writing with pen or pencil, which contrasts with "Hand" which is an impersonal and formalised writing style in several historical varieties...

. Owing to the influence from calligraphy
Calligraphy
Calligraphy is a type of visual art. It is often called the art of fancy lettering . A contemporary definition of calligraphic practice is "the art of giving form to signs in an expressive, harmonious and skillful manner"...

, such typefaces often slant slightly to the right. Different glyph
Glyph
A glyph is an element of writing: an individual mark on a written medium that contributes to the meaning of what is written. A glyph is made up of one or more graphemes....

 shapes from roman type
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

 are also usually used—another influence from calligraphy. It is distinct therefore from oblique type
Oblique type
Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted...

, in which the font is merely distorted into a slanted orientation. However, uppercase letters are often oblique type or swash capitals
Swash (typography)
A swash is a typographical flourish on a glyph, like an exaggerated serif.Capital swash characters, which extended to the left, were historically often used to begin sentences. There were also minuscule swash characters, which came either extending to the left, to begin words, or to the right to...

 rather than true italics.

This style is called "italic" for historical reasons. Calligraphic typefaces started to be designed in Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

, for chancery
Chancery hand
The term "chancery hand" can refer to one of two very different styles of historical handwriting.A chancery hand was at first a form of handwriting for business transactions that developed in the Lateran chancelry of the thirteenth century, then spread to France, notably through the Avignon...

 purposes. Ludovico Arrighi and Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

 (both between the 15th and 16th centuries) were the main type designers involved in this process at the time.

"Italics are the print equivalent of underlining" and typewriter users underlined words that would normally appear as italics in professionally printed works.

History

Italic type was first used by Aldus Manutius
Aldus Manutius
Aldus Pius Manutius , the Latinised name of Aldo Manuzio —sometimes called Aldus Manutius, the Elder to distinguish him from his grandson, Aldus Manutius, the Younger—was an Italian humanist who became a printer and publisher when he founded the Aldine Press at Venice.His publishing legacy includes...

 and the Aldine Press
Aldine Press
Aldine Press was the printing office started by Aldus Manutius in 1494 in Venice, from which were issued the celebrated Aldine editions of the classics . The Aldine Press is famous in the history of typography, among other things, for the introduction of italics...

 in 1501, in an edition of Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

 dedicated to Italy. According to Lynne Truss
Lynne Truss
Lynne Truss is an English writer and journalist, best known for her popular book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.-Early life:...

, Manutius invented the italic typeface. Based on the Humanist cursive script first developed in the 1420s by Niccolò de' Niccoli
Niccolò de' Niccoli
Niccolò de' Niccoli was an Italian Renaissance humanist.He was born and died in Florence, and was one of the chief figures in the company of learned men which gathered around the patronage of Cosimo de' Medici...

, it served as a condensed type for simple, compact volumes. The punches
Punchcutting
In traditional typography, punchcutting is the craft of cutting letter punches in steel from which matrices were made in copper for type founding in the letterpress era. Cutting punches and casting type was the first step of traditional typesetting. The cutting of letter punches was a highly...

 for these types were cut by Francesco da Bologna
Francesco Griffo
Francesco Griffo , also called Francesco da Bologna, was a fifteenth-century Venetian punchcutter. He worked for Aldus Manutius, designing that printer's more important typefaces, including the first italic type...

 (whose surname
Surname
A surname is a name added to a given name and is part of a personal name. In many cases, a surname is a family name. Many dictionaries define "surname" as a synonym of "family name"...

 was Griffo). In 1501 Aldus wrote to his friend Scipio:
Unlike the italic type of today, the capital letters were upright roman capitals which were shorter than the ascending lower-case italic letters and used about 65 tied letters (ligatures) in the Aldine Dante and Virgil of 1501.

This Aldine italic became the model for most italic types. It was very popular in its own day and was widely (and inaccurately) imitated. The Venetian
Republic of Venice
The Republic of Venice or Venetian Republic was a state originating from the city of Venice in Northeastern Italy. It existed for over a millennium, from the late 7th century until 1797. It was formally known as the Most Serene Republic of Venice and is often referred to as La Serenissima, in...

 Senate gave Aldus exclusive right to its use, a patent confirmed by three successive Pope
Pope
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome, a position that makes him the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church . In the Catholic Church, the Pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter, the Apostle...

s, but it was widely counterfeited. The Italians called the character Aldino, while others called it Italic.

The slanting italic capital was first introduced by printers in Lyon and is now used in nearly all italic fonts.

Examples

An example of normal (roman
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

)
and true italics text:

The same example, as oblique
Oblique type
Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted...

text:

Some examples of possible differences between roman and italic type, besides the slant, are below. The transformations from roman to italics are illustrated.
  • a "round" or one-storey a,
  • an e whose bowl is curved rather than pointed,
  • an f with a tail (known as a descender),
  • a k with a looped bowl, a k with a ball terminal
    Ball terminal
    A ball terminal is a design feature of a typeface or glyph where the end of a stroke takes a roughly circular shape, as opposed to a serif or a square end.-External links:*...

    ,
  • a p with an intersection at the stem (ascender),
  • a v and w with swashes and curved bottoms,
  • and a z with the stress on the horizontal strokes as opposed to the diagonal vertical one.


None of these differences are required in an italic; some, like the p variant, do not show up in the majority of italic fonts, while others, like the a and f variants, are in almost every italic. Other common differences include:
  • Double-loop g replaced by single-loop version.
  • Different closing height where the forked stroke intersects with the stem (e.g. : a, b, d, g, p, q, r, þ).
  • Bracketed serifs (if any) replaced by hooked serifs.
  • Tail of Q replaced by tilde (as in, for example, the Garamond
    Garamond
    Garamond is the name given to a group of old-style serif typefaces named after the punch-cutter Claude Garamond . Most of the Garamond faces are more closely related to the work of a later punch-cutter, Jean Jannon...

     typeface).


Less common differences include a descender on the z and a ball on the finishing stroke of an h, which curves back to resemble a b somewhat. Sometimes the w is of a form taken from old German typefaces, in which the left half is of the same form as the n and the right half is of the same form as the v in the same typeface. There also exist specialized ligatures for italics, such as a curl atop the s which reaches the ascender of the p in sp.

In addition to these differences in shape of letters, italic lowercases usually lack serif
Serif
In typography, serifs are semi-structural details on the ends of some of the strokes that make up letters and symbols. A typeface with serifs is called a serif typeface . A typeface without serifs is called sans serif or sans-serif, from the French sans, meaning “without”...

s at the bottoms of strokes, since a pen would bounce up to continue the action of writing. Instead they usually have one-sided serifs that curve up on the outstroke (contrast the flat two-sided serifs of a roman font). One uncommon exception to this is Hermann Zapf
Hermann Zapf
Hermann Zapf is a German typeface designer who lives in Darmstadt, Germany. He is married to calligrapher and typeface designer Gudrun Zapf von Hesse....

's Melior. (Its outstroke serifs are one-sided, but they don't curve up.)



Outside the regular alphabet
Alphabet
An alphabet is a standard set of letters—basic written symbols or graphemes—each of which represents a phoneme in a spoken language, either as it exists now or as it was in the past. There are other systems, such as logographies, in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic...

, there are other italic types for symbols:
  • Ampersand
    Ampersand
    An ampersand is a logogram representing the conjunction word "and". The symbol is a ligature of the letters in et, Latin for "and".-Etymology:...

     resembles eTil ligature more than the Roman version (e.g.: ITC
    International Typeface Corporation
    The International Typeface Corporation was a type manufacturer founded in New York in 1970 by Aaron Burns, Herb Lubalin, and Edward Rondthaler. The company was one of the world's first type foundries to have no history in the production of metal type...

     Garamond)
  • Asterisk
    Asterisk
    An asterisk is a typographical symbol or glyph. It is so called because it resembles a conventional image of a star. Computer scientists and mathematicians often pronounce it as star...

     is rotated instead of slanted (e.g.: Bookman Old Style, ITC Garamond).
  • Question mark
    Question mark
    The question mark , is a punctuation mark that replaces the full stop at the end of an interrogative sentence in English and many other languages. The question mark is not used for indirect questions...

     resembles a reversed Latin S.

When to use

  • Emphasis
    Emphasis (typography)
    In typography, emphasis is the exaggeration of words in a text with a font in a different style from the rest of the text—to emphasize them.- Methods and use :...

    : "Smith wasn't the only guilty party, it's true".
  • The titles of works that stand by themselves, such as books (including those within a larger series), albums, plays, or periodicals: "He wrote his thesis on The Scarlet Letter". Works that appear within larger works, such as short stories, poems, or newspaper articles, are not italicized, but merely set off in quotation marks.
  • The names of ships: "The Queen Mary sailed last night."
  • Foreign words, including the Latin binomial nomenclature
    Binomial nomenclature
    Binomial nomenclature is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages...

     in the taxonomy of living organisms: "A splendid coq au vin was served"; "Homo sapiens".
  • Mentioning a word as an example of a word rather than for its semantic content (see use–mention distinction): "The word the is an article".
    • Using a letter or number mentioned as itself:
      • John was annoyed; they had forgotten the h in his name once again.
      • When she saw her name beside the 1 on the rankings, she finally had proof that she was the best.
  • Introducing or defining terms, especially technical terms or those used in an unusual or different way: "Freudian psychology is based on the ego, the super-ego, and the id."; "An even number is one that is a multiple of 2."
  • Sometimes in novels to indicate a character's thought process: "This can't be happening, thought Mary."
  • Algebra
    Algebra
    Algebra is the branch of mathematics concerning the study of the rules of operations and relations, and the constructions and concepts arising from them, including terms, polynomials, equations and algebraic structures...

    ic symbols (constants and variables) are conventionally typeset in italics: "The solution is x = 2."
  • Symbols for physical quantities
    Physical quantity
    A physical quantity is a physical property of a phenomenon, body, or substance, that can be quantified by measurement.-Definition of a physical quantity:Formally, the International Vocabulary of Metrology, 3rd edition defines quantity as:...

     and mathematical constant
    Mathematical constant
    A mathematical constant is a special number, usually a real number, that is "significantly interesting in some way". Constants arise in many different areas of mathematics, with constants such as and occurring in such diverse contexts as geometry, number theory and calculus.What it means for a...

    s: "The speed of light, c, is approximately equal to 3.00×108 m/s."

Oblique type

Oblique type
Oblique type
Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted...

 (or slanted, sloped) is roman type which is optically skewed, but lacking the individual letter forms and cursive accoutrements of true italics.

In many computing interfaces, the text leaning effect is called Italic, whether or not an italic font is used to render the text. The start of this confusion possibly appeared when Adrian Frutiger
Adrian Frutiger
Adrian Frutiger is one of the prominent typeface designers of the 20th century, who continues to influence the direction of digital typography in the 21st century; he is best known for creating the typefaces Univers and Frutiger.-Early life:Adrian Frutiger was born in Unterseen, Canton of Bern, as...

 named the slanted versions of his typefaces Univers
Univers
Univers is the name of a realist sans-serif typeface designed by Adrian Frutiger in 1954.Originally conceived and released by Deberny & Peignot in 1957, the type library was acquired in 1972 by Haas. Haas'sche Schriftgiesserei was later folded into the D...

 and Frutiger
Frutiger
Frutiger is a series of typefaces named after its designer, Adrian Frutiger. Initially available as a sans serif, it was later expanded to include ornamental and serif typefaces.-Distinctive characteristics:Characteristics of this typeface are:...

 as italic. In the case of Univers, only Univers 65 Bold has an italic-named counterpart. Since then, many font families, primarily sans-serif fonts, have called the oblique fonts italic. Although updated versions of those font families begin to incorporate italic features, some font families, such as Avenir Next, Linotype Univers, Neue Helvetica, do not.

Although an oblique font can be generated by simply tilting the base font, some designers use optical correction to correct the distorted curves this introduces. Some font families have fonts with both italic and oblique variants. In these cases, the oblique font may have a different tilt angle from the italic font. For example, Univers 65 Bold Oblique has a smaller leaning angle than the Univers 66 Bold Italic.

Italics within italics

If something within a run of italics needs to be italicized itself, the type is normally switched back to non-italicized (roman
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

) type: "I think The Scarlet Letter had a chapter about that, thought Mary". In this example, the title ("The Scarlet Letter") is within an italicized thought process and therefore this title is non-italicized. It is followed by the main narrative that is outside both. It is also non-italicized and therefore not obviously separated from the former. The reader must find additional criteria to distinguish between these. Here, apart from using the attribute of italic–non-italic styles, the title also employs the attribute of capitalization. Citation styles in which book titles are italicized differ on how to deal with a book title within a book title; for example, MLA style specifies a switch back to roman type, whereas The Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide for American English published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press. Its 16 editions have prescribed writing and citation styles widely used in publishing...

(8.184) specifies the use of quotation marks (A Key to Whitehead’s "Process and Reality
Process and Reality
In philosophy, especially metaphysics, the book Process and Reality by Alfred North Whitehead sets out its author's philosophy of organism, also called process philosophy...

"
).

Left-leaning italics

In certain Arabic fonts (e.g.: Adobe Arabic, Boutros Ads), the italic font has the top of the letter leaning to the left, instead of leaning to the right. Some font families, such as Venus, Roemisch, Topografische Zahlentafel, include left leaning fonts and letters designed for German cartographic map production, even though they do not support Arabic characters.

Upright italics

Fonts such as Jan van Krimpen
Jan van Krimpen
Jan van Krimpen was a Dutch typographer and type designer. He worked for the printing house Koninklijke Joh. Enschedé.- Type designs :...

’s Romanée, Eric Gill
Eric Gill
Arthur Eric Rowton Gill was a British sculptor, typeface designer, stonecutter and printmaker, who was associated with the Arts and Crafts movement...

’s Joanna
Joanna (typeface)
Joanna is a transitional serif typeface designed by Eric Gill in the period 1930–31, and named for one of his daughters. The typeface was originally designed for proprietary use by Gill's printing shop Hague & Gill. The type was first produced in a small quantity by the Caslon Foundry for hand...

and Martin Majoor
Martin Majoor
Martin Majoor is a Dutch typedesigner and graphic designer.-Biography:Martin Majoor has been designing type since the mid-1980s. During his study at the School of Fine Art in Arnhem , he shortly worked in a student placement at URW in Hamburg. It was there that he was able to work with the first...

’s FF Seria have italic fonts that only have cursive designs, but not the leans typically associated with italic types.

Parentheses

The Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style
The Chicago Manual of Style is a style guide for American English published since 1906 by the University of Chicago Press. Its 16 editions have prescribed writing and citation styles widely used in publishing...

suggests that to avoid problems such as overlapping and unequally spaced characters, parentheses and bracket
Bracket
Brackets are tall punctuation marks used in matched pairs within text, to set apart or interject other text. In the United States, "bracket" usually refers specifically to the "square" or "box" type.-List of types:...

s surrounding text that begins and ends in italic or oblique type
Oblique type
Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted...

 should also be italicized (as in this example). An exception to this rule applies when only one end of the parenthetical is italicized (in which case roman type
Roman type
In typography, roman is one of the three main kinds of historical type, alongside blackletter and italic. Roman type was modelled from a European scribal manuscript style of the 1400s, based on the pairing of inscriptional capitals used in ancient Rome with Carolingian minuscules developed in the...

 is preferred, as on the right of this example).

In The Elements of Typographic Style
The Elements of Typographic Style
The Elements of Typographic Style is a book by Canadian typographer, poet and translator Robert Bringhurst. Originally published in 1992 by Hartley & Marks Publishers, it was revised in 1996, 2001 , 2002 , 2004 , 2005 , and 2008...

, however, it is argued that since Italic delimiters
Delimiter
A delimiter is a sequence of one or more characters used to specify the boundary between separate, independent regions in plain text or other data streams. An example of a delimiter is the comma character, which acts as a field delimiter in a sequence of comma-separated values.Delimiters represent...

 are not historically correct, the upright versions should always be used, while paying close attention to kerning
Kerning
In typography, kerning is the process of adjusting the spacing between characters in a proportional font, usually to achieve a visually pleasing result. Kerning is the adjustment of the space between individual letter forms vs. tracking which is the uniform adjustment of spacing applied over a...

.

Substitutes

In media where italicization is not possible, alternatives are used as substitutes:
  • In typewritten or handwritten text, underlining is typically used.
  • In plain-text computer files, including e-mail
    E-mail
    Electronic mail, commonly known as email or e-mail, is a method of exchanging digital messages from an author to one or more recipients. Modern email operates across the Internet or other computer networks. Some early email systems required that the author and the recipient both be online at the...

     communication, italicized words are often indicated by surrounding them with slashes
    Slash (punctuation)
    The slash is a sign used as a punctuation mark and for various other purposes. It is now often called a forward slash , and many other alternative names.-History:...

     or other matched delimiter
    Delimiter
    A delimiter is a sequence of one or more characters used to specify the boundary between separate, independent regions in plain text or other data streams. An example of a delimiter is the comma character, which acts as a field delimiter in a sequence of comma-separated values.Delimiters represent...

    s. For example:
    • I was /really/ annoyed.
    • They >completely< forgot me!
    • I had _nothing_ to do with it. (Commonly interpreted as underlining, which is an alternative to italics.)
    • It was *absolutely* horrible. (Commonly interpreted as bold.)
  • Where the italics do not indicate emphasis, but are marking a title or where a word is being mentioned or defined as a direct object, quotation marks may be substituted:
    • The word "the" is an article.
    • The term "even number" refers to a number that is a multiple of 2.
    • The story "A Sound of Thunder
      A Sound of Thunder
      “A Sound of Thunder” is a science fiction short story by Ray Bradbury, first published in Collier’s magazine in 1952. As of 1984 it was the most re-published science fiction story up to the present time...

      " was written by Ray Bradbury
      Ray Bradbury
      Ray Douglas Bradbury is an American fantasy, horror, science fiction, and mystery writer. Best known for his dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451 and for the science fiction stories gathered together as The Martian Chronicles and The Illustrated Man , Bradbury is one of the most celebrated among 20th...

      .

Web pages

In HTML
HTML
HyperText Markup Language is the predominant markup language for web pages. HTML elements are the basic building-blocks of webpages....

, the i element is used to produce italic (or oblique
Oblique type
Oblique type is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted...

) text. When the author wants to indicate emphasized text, modern Web standards recommend using the em element, because it conveys that the content is to be emphasized, even if it cannot be displayed in italics. Conversely, if the italics are purely ornamental rather than meaningful, then semantic markup practices
Semantic HTML
Semantic HTML is the use of HTML markup to reinforce the semantics, or meaning, of the information in webpages rather than merely to define its presentation . Semantic HTML is processed by regular web browsers as well as by many other user agents...

 would dictate that the author use the Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets
Cascading Style Sheets is a style sheet language used to describe the presentation semantics of a document written in a markup language...

 declaration font-style: italic; along with an appropriate, semantic class name instead of an i or em element.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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