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lower case

Mixing small caps and lower case, e.g., plurals and possessives


Dear Typophile,

What is the convention when mixing small caps and lower case in the same word?

For instance, if I am setting all abbreviations in small caps, I might have the phrase ‘he had two DVDs on his shelf’. How do I stop it looking like ‘he had two DVDS on his shelf’ (you have to imagine these large caps are small caps!).

Another example might be a possessive. ‘the new DVD’s cover was blank’. In theory it's okay, but in some typefaces the lower case S actually comes out larger than the small caps, which looks a little striking.

Are there any conventions here? Or tips people have found from experience look best when mixing small caps and lower case in the same word?

All best wishes,


Sans-serif, narrow, geometric, extra condensed typeface used for the masthead of a 1945 American West Coast magazine. Scanned.

A sans-serif, condensed, narrow, geometrical typeface that seems to be based on a narrow vertical rectangle used as a grid with a 7:2 ratio, perhaps.
It was used for the masthead of an architectural magazine, in 1946. Reminded me of Wim Crouwel's Hiroshima poster (1957) and I wonder if that particular typeface was in turn based on other typographic/visual trends at the time. Thank you!

Who invented Title Case?

Last week I saw the website of Designers & Books, a very nice initiative. But in the list of books I was very much distracted by the use of Title Case in the book titles.

Most text editing software nowadays has the possibility to change a sentence into Title Case (or lowercase, UPPERCASE, Sentence case and maybe even CamelCase). Personally I think the use of Title Case makes the book titles swollen-headed.

Where does this practice of Title Case come from? Is it an American custom? Who invented Title Case? And who can tell me the pros of using it?

(x) Engraver Miniscule - various suggestions {Florian}

Okay, got one for you. I have a client who wanted Engraver as the font choice on her card, and for a while that worked for her. Now she wants lower case letters on her cards, and to my knowledge, I don't know of any variation of Engraver that has miniscule letters. Does anyone know of one or can they recommend a passable substitute? Thanks for any assistance.