Thai italics part 2 : Design

This post follows on from Usage, in which we found that italics in Thai are used slightly differently to their Latin counterparts. The two main discoveries were:

  • Thai italics can stand alone as body text, even for long passages, unlike in Latin where they tend to be embedded in bodies of upright text.
  • Thai italics are used for meta-text and to convey the ‘about’ voice. They are not for emphasis or names of things, which use bold instead.

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Thai italics part 1 : Usage

The question of Thai italics has kept cropping up lately. In this two-part blog, I’m splitting the question into what are hoped to be digestible chunks. This post, Usage, talks about the ways that Thai typography uses italics differently to Latin, and tries to establish the principles underlying their use, and what implications there might be for the type designer. The second part, Design, will talk about a rationale for creating ‘true’ italics for Thai (not just sloped uprights or obliques), and will explore the possibilities of drawing on some of the traditional idioms of Thai penmanship. Continue reading