The Pilcrow

In an italic font should the Pilcrow sign be italicised or not ?

Many fonts do not italicise the pilcrow but many do.

Is there any convention to follow ?

Comments

  • You don't want it staying the same.
  • Craig EliasonCraig Eliason Posts: 567
    I would italicize it. Better to give the typographer options.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 788
    edited April 4
    In the metal type days, it was a separate "sort", a generic character not part of any particular typeface, and there was typically a single design. The first PostScript fonts included the pilcrow (it was part of the original Mac character set) and type designers began to adapt its design to fit the style of the font it was part of, including italicizing it.

    If you want a font to look more traditional, leave it upright. But I agree with Craig that there are good reasons to italicize it.
  • AbrahamLeeAbrahamLee Posts: 60
    So, what is the consensus, then? A single (upright) glyph in both upright and italic? Or two glyphs matching the upright and italic styles?

    And what other characters does this concept apply to? I've often wondered this...
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 788
    edited April 4
    Anything that wasn't traditionally part of the standard character set, like math operators and other symbols. 

    Also, I need to clarify my previous comment. I checked one of my old Linotype specimen books, and the pilcrow was part of the standard character set, at least in some fonts. However, it was always upright. They did make it bolder for bold fonts, and italic in italic fonts (but not always).

    So, never mind.
  • Josh_FinkleaJosh_Finklea Posts: 16
    I think more and more the characters that previously were not italicized (at least in digital fonts) are being designed with italic forms. I don't think this is necessarily because more type designer are uniformed, but because stylistically it is more fitting as these characters have multiple typographic contexts.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 734
    I vote “yes” and make an italic pilcrow. In general, my default is to make all letters slanted in an italic font. I have a specific list of glyphs to keep upright in an italic, originally based on Adobe’s practice in this area.

    Note that if a glyph is maintained as upright in an italic font, it may still need sidebearings or spacing adjustment, especially if it has an unusual vertical position (asterisk, trademark, copyright, and degree, for example).

    My list for a large font I am working on:

    asterisk
    plus
    less
    equal
    greater
    asciicircum
    bar
    asciitilde
    trademark
    copyright
    logicalnot
    registered
    degree
    plusminus
    .notdef
    revlogicalnot
    uni2120
    uni2117
    estimated
    uni2190
    uni2192
    arrowup
    arrowdown
    lessequal
    greaterequal
    approxequal
    notequal
    uni2213
    infinity
    lozenge
    integral
    radical
    uni25A0
    uni25B2
    uni25B3
    uni25B6
    uni25B7
    uni25BC
    uni25BD
    uni25C0
    uni25C1
    uni25C9
    uni25C6
    uni2610
    uni2611
    uni2713
    uni2752

  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 604
    There was a time when slanting mathematical symbols was work. Now it's more work, not to slant them.
  • I tend to also slant mathematical operators and signs like integral. Seems more logical to me – and gives the user the choice.
  • There is also the code point U+2761 for an especially swashy and decorative pilcrow.

    Would it be an idea to include upright characters as a stylistic alternates set? That would give more control of correct spacing, as opposed to switching in and out of italic in a word processor.
  • Mark SimonsonMark Simonson Posts: 788
    I guess I slant most things with a few exceptions: bar, brokenbar, estimated, plus any dingbat-like glyphs, like stars and other geometric shapes. Also, directional arrows.
  • Nick ShinnNick Shinn Posts: 1,110
    I italicize almost everything in italic fonts. If editors and typographers want to get picky about equations, they can use roman font characters at their discretion.

    In a couple if types (The Modern Suite) I included roman parentheses as a stylistic set, suitably kerned, in the italic, but now I don’t bother, as I figure it is less work, for typographers who know and care about such things, to change fonts and apply optical kerning, than go digging around in the Stylistic Sets.
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