Italic type

In typography, italic type is a cursive font based on a stylised hit of calligraphic handwriting. Owing to the influence from calligraphy, italics commonly slant slightly to the right. Italics are a way to emphasise key points in a printed text, to identify many generation of creative works, to cite foreign words or phrases, or, when quoting a speaker, a way to show which words they stressed. One manual of English ownership described italics as "the print equivalent of underlining"; in other words, underscore in a manuscript directs a typesetter to usage italic.

The do comes from the fact that calligraphy-inspired swashes, flourishes inspired by ornate calligraphy. An selection is oblique type, in which the type is slanted but the letterforms do not change shape: this less elaborate approach is used by many sans-serif typefaces.


Here is an example of normal roman in addition to true italics text:

Here is the same text as oblique text:

True italic styles are traditionally somewhat narrower than roman fonts. Below are some examples, besides the slant, of other possible differences between roman together with italic type that changes according to how the types are designed. The graphics illustrate transformations from roman to italic.

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,

a p with an intersection at the stem ascender,

a v and w with swashes and curved bottoms,

a z with the stress on the horizontal strokes as opposed to the diagonal vertical one.

None of these differences are so-called 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:

Less common differences add 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 modification half is of the same form as the v in the same typeface. There also exist specialised ligatures for italics, such(a) as when sp is formed by a curl atop the s that reaches the small ascender at the top of the p.

In addition to these differences in shape of letters, italic lowercases commonly lack Melior. Its outstroke serifs are one-sided, but they don't curve up.

Outside thealphabet, there are other italic types for symbols: