Italic for ALL glyphs?


I'd like to have your opinion and/or experience on this matter: are there glyphs you don't italicize when you create an italic master?
I think of glyphs like "copyright", "registered", "trademark", "estimated",... (for legal reasons maybe).
Or other glyphs for other reasons?

Thanks in advance!


  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 180
    Estimated for legal reasons, the others just because you don't get great things out of unnecessarily skewing a circle. Math operators, particularly the + plus sign, which loses its identity if the vertical isn't vertical. And asterisks are best rotated instead of obliqued.
  • And what about the bar, the broken bar and the underscore ?
  • K PeaseK Pease Posts: 180
    Yes, it is good to keep the bars upright so they do not get confused with slashes. Depending on the style and use cases, giving them about 2 degrees can be an acceptable compromise for the users who expect something to happen (but not if it's a traditional text face, as bars are also in the category of math operators). As for the underscore, it literally makes no difference.
  • Some previous discussion here and here
  • Thank you all for your informations, advices and links.
    The variable font I'm working on at the present is far from traditional (slanted and curved). Having read the previous discussions, I think I will leave the bars, registered, copyright, trade mark and estimated upright and italicize and curve the other ones, even the math operators as this is not a scientific font.
  • Yes, this has been discussed at quite some length! The thread I started in 2019 includes my thinking on the topic.
  • I'm surprise that the bar shouldn't be slanted. Doesn't it have to play along with brackets, slashes, etc.? Shouldn't it split the middle between / and \?
  • The bar is vertical, that is its whole reason for existence (IMO). Not angled the same as the text, but… vertical.

    Of course, some folks also keep brackets and braces vertical in italics as well.
  • The only use I personally have for the bar is for punctuation in old-timey song lyrics and for things like this: which case the vertical bars look weird to me.
    What are the uses that call for verticality?
  • I agree that in your example, the slanted orientation looks better. However, in my example of a made-up website menu, the opposite seems true (at least to me).

    For what it's worth, I always slant the bar in an italic font. If someone wants the upright version, they can always choose it from the Roman font. If I use the upright bar in both, it removes the options.

    I don't think there are black-and-white, one-size-fits-all rules for these kinds of questions.

  • At Adobe I was probably very much on board with the house style — generally unitalicized symbols. I’m not sure I agree anymore. The other day I was using some font and it gave me a slanted plus sign and it looked great! It was a pleasant surprise.

    It’s probably best to give users the choice. Spacing is also a big deal. If you’re putting unslanted symbols in an italic font, you had better give the generous and correct spacing so they look their best in that context.
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