Italics: Typography's Aristocrats
Italics are the aristocrats of type: elegant, beautiful, and dignified. Their history can be traced back to a time when only scribes and the most educated communicated with the written word. When they were first made into fonts, italics were designed to be communication tools for the most affluent readers.
Traditional typographic history would have us believe that Aldus Manutius invented italic types, in the 14th century, as a space saving device. The story is told that Aldus paid the type designer Francesco Griffo da Bologna to develop a cursive type for a new series of small books that he was planning to produce. It is said that Aldus's goal was to cut paper costs and thus make his publications less expensive. These inexpensive books would thus be available to those who previously could not afford them. Then, as now, paper was expensive, but saving paper was not Aldus's goal in the creating of italic type – and Aldus never sold an "inexpensive" book.
Aldus's italic type evolved from a popular writing style used by the educated. Its heritage can be traced back to Niccolo de Niccoli, an Italian scholar of the early 15th century. De Niccoli started to oblique and added flourishes to his letters when "he wished to write in a faster more relaxed fashion than usual." By the mid-century other scholars began to imitate his writing style, and by the late 1400s, italic became the official writing style of the educated, and of the professional scribes of southern Italy. In fact, the style came to be called Cancellaresca because of the large volume of work produced in that type for the city chancelleries.
Most of Aldus' customers for his books were the same people who used the cursive style of writing. In adapting the style to print, he and Griffo were making books more appealing to their intended audience. Today, we would call this concept creative marketing.
Aldus's Idea proved very successful; so successful in fact that other printers felt obliged to produce their own books in this new typestyle. The problem was that Aldus knew a product differentiator when he saw one, and was not about to sell fonts of his new invention to the competition. So the early printers did what has become a tradition in the history of type design – they copied the designs they could not buy. Not wishing to call attention to the plagiarism, but still needing to give the new offering a name, they chose "italic," after Italy, the country in which Aldus worked.
Allan Haley is Director of Words & Letters at Monotype Imaging. Here he is responsible for strategic planning and creative implementation of just about everything related to typeface designs.
游客ReviewFS Emeric字体：一款令人愉悦的新字体font article没看看有这款字体啊
我在这儿Review网页设计中的艺术字体设计与排版（1）font article很好 值得学习
游客Review免费商用中文字体有哪些？font article新蒂字体 授权使用： 无需备案免费使用的情况： 在个人电脑上安装、打印个人文档、个人网站、博客、微博配图 需要备案免费使用的情况： 设计有可能商用的稿件（在商用时购买商业授权）、用于免费提供给他人的印刷品（印量在500份以内，且无需获得印刷品行政许可）的情况、用作没有品牌冠名的公益广告、用作完全免费（不能含有收费项目）的软件及网络服务。 需要购买个人授权的情况： 个人网店的装饰、个体商...