Cyrillic italics vs. obliques

Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,210
edited July 2015 in Technique and Theory
When designing Cyrillic, some of the italics can take vastly different forms.

But in some Cyrillic designs, the italics are oblique and the letterforms don't change. I'm trying to figure out the borderline where these traditional forms would be inappropriate.

If I were doing an old timey Cheltenham sort of design, I'd go with the alternate (traditional) italic Cyrillic forms.
If I were designing a square, high-tech spaceship font, I'd likely go with oblique forms.

But I'm not sure where the borderline is. When I look at Paratype's italics, News Gothic has oblique forms while Humanist 521 and Journal Sans have traditional forms.

It seems like the borderline has to do with "how italic" the a-z is.

An oversimplification:

1: Just slanted
2: A bit more italic: the f has a descender and the a in monocular
3: Somewhat italic: curls have sprouted
10: Full blown Caslon

Bell Gothic has a italic that would be somewhere between 2 and 3 yet it has the traditional Cyrillic italic forms.

And Futura has oblique forms.

Is it a case of "how humanist" the design is?



  • This might be helpful. Scroll down until a chart on the right side with three colored columns appears.

  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,210
    Right, but there's are some situations where these alternate italic forms are inappropriate... that's what I'm try to ascertain here.
  • I'm just starting on the Italic of my Cyrillic inventory of Cormorant now. I've been wondering how best to render the descenders of /tse et al. in Italic...  I'm tempted to use a backward swash, but I seem to remember that's not well liked. On the other hand, a sharp serif spike like I'm using in the Roman also seems a bit out of character for the Italic. What to do?
  • I'm not sure, but

    tse.PNG 32.3K
  • Thanks, Alexander! I adopted this one in the end:

Sign In or Register to comment.