Development of Italics

Italics are first introduced in a volume of Virgil printed by the Aldine Press. The style was created by Francesco Griffo and was meant to mimic the handwritten style used in papal chanceries of this time period. Originally, the type face of ‘italics’ was only developed in lowercase letters and combined with the ‘regular’ uppercase Roman typeface. This edition of Virgil is also the first edition of a non-religious book to be printed in the “pocket,” or octavo, style that could be carried around in one’s pocket. Scholars could now carry and study Virgil and other classics at any time. This image is sourced from Wikimedia Commons and is public domain.

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