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.
In Europe, the various strands of typography came together over centuries. Even before the arrival of printing, there were many styles (and sub-styles) of writing: the Greek and Roman inscriptional capitals and everyday ‘rustic’ letters, the Carolingian and insular uncials, and the textura and rotunda gothics to name only a few key elements. Printing types started in the fifteenth century by mimicking the forms of handwritten letters, and thenceforth, developments in type included bicameralism (including upper- and lowercase versions of letters in one typeface), the integration of uprights with italics, and the gradual movement away from humanist models to the elegant swelling lines of the “modern’ types. Later we see the introduction of sans-serif faces, and the invention of the fat, poster faces that gave us our bolds. Continue reading