Upper case italics

Primary tabs

8 posts / 0 new
Last post
Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
Upper case italics
0

How come the norm for italic serifs is slanted roman capitals, when the lowercase often departs from the lowercase roman? Did anyone ever try a different approach?

Briän M Zick's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
0

I do believe so. From Robert Slimbach, Minion Italic has true italic capitals (as swash cap variants). It seems somewhat unusual to depart from slanted roman for italic caps, regardless of whether it's serifs or sans. Although, I don't see why it is so uncommon. For the most part, italic caps are either slanted or swash, although they don't quite have to be either, in my opinion. [[http://www.underware.nl/site2/index.php?id1=auto&id2=info|Auto,]] the triple italic sans serif by Underware does seem to have achieved some visibly cursive italic capitals in italic 2, without being ostentatiously swashy. Even italic 1 has some forms that vary from the roman. Italic 3, of course, has lots of swash and attitude to it.

With [[http://typophile.com/node/74121|Neuton's]]second italic, I'm going to have capitals with a noticeably cursive disposition is structure, and the serifs will have modified serifs that are also leaning more towards cursive, although not so obviously. I do not yet have examples of the digitized yet, although it's in my sketches. The first italic will have more traditional slanted capitals.

I'm sure there are other fonts that take a more cursive approach to the italic capitals.

Riccardo Sartori's picture
Joined: 13 Jul 2009 - 4:20am
0

I think the drawback in using cursive shapes for uppercase italics is that they would look clumsy in an all-caps word.

Frode Bo Helland's picture
Joined: 26 Feb 2007 - 1:03pm
0

Many typefaces also have swashed lowercase. They primarly serve a decorative purpose (at least in modern typography) but obviously have more in common with cursive lc than slanted roman capitals. What I’m talking about is something cursive in construction, but not necessarily as expressive as swashed capitals.

Didn’t some early italics have upright roman capitals? Did we just slant them and leave it at that?

Auto Italic 2 is very interesting, btw. I hadn’t noticed those caps before.

Craig Eliason's picture
Offline
Joined: 19 Mar 2004 - 1:44pm
0

I think the lowercase, with its roots in pen-drawn forms, simply accomodates cursive adaptation better than the inscription-based capital forms.

Briän M Zick's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Nov 2008 - 9:38pm
0

@frode, Yeah, I thought you were more talking about cursive structure than with swash forms. I think the early italic capitals were simply roman capitals, and then later started to be slanted. Don't quote me on this, but I believe I read Baskerville was the first to use swash capitals. Although, I might be confusing that with Caslon. (Or am remembering wrong.)

Auto Italic 2 caps definitely are a good variation on the norm.

@riccard0 Hmm, you do have a point about the more cursive capitals working less well in lines of caps. Contextual alternates for all-cap settings?

Nick Shinn's picture
Offline
Joined: 8 Jul 2003 - 11:00am
0


Many typefaces have a set of swash capitals as alternates, intended for use in U&lc setting (1, Caslon).
But that doesn't work for all caps (2), which is why they're alternates.

However, some types have implemented the swash form into some characters, e.g. Baskerville (3), and several of Goudy's types.

Robert Slimbach created a full set of "all-cap-able" swash caps for Minion (4). I suspect that the way InDesign functions had some bearing on that.

I like that idea too, which I came to when working on Fontesque (7), which uses the swash form as the default for caps.

I've also implemented it in the swash caps of Oneleigh (5) and Scotch Modern (6)

Khaled Hosny's picture
Offline
Joined: 29 Aug 2007 - 4:57am
0

Because italic was always lower case?