In defence of faux italic

There aren’t many single language, long-form reading situations where typographers would want to pairing a roman typeface with an italic from an entirely different type family.

It’s a strange enough idea that software developers software applications will try and get rid of this problem for end users: if the program allows you to make italic text without a companion italic available, it might just make fake, slanted italics.

This isn’t exactly news to you, I know.

And in spite of how much we all dislike fake italics, admittedly they are often better than pulling in an entirely different “real” italic, with a different x-height and incompatible tone.

Yet, there’s one group that needs the emphasis, differentiation, and citation of italics inline, within their text, and finds themselves in exactly this situation all the time: technical writers.

On Friday, I’ll write more about the situations I keep seeing them in.

Until next time, Kenneth