Formal scripts, like
Balmoral or Flemish
Script, are normally
reserved for, as the
name suggests, formal
occasions. They are
most comfortable in
applications such as
fancy invitations, certificates, and similar
“important and official” documents.
Casual scripts have
a wider range of
can be laid-back
like Swing, edgy like
like Andy, or playful
like Benguiat Frisky.
Casual scripts are also
at home in as diverse
places as posters,
restaurant menus, and
as the name implies,
mimic calligraphic lettering.
They can look
dashed-off, as in Tiger
Rag, or carefully constructed,
scripts are a perfect
choice when you want
a “human touch” in
are designed to look
like manuscript lettering
prior to the invention
of movable type.
They range from the
traditional but hackneyed
Old English to
more distinctive alternatives
and ITC Tomism. Not
subtle, they have
strong personas and
make powerful statements.
this, they should be
Italic typefaces are first cousins to
scripts. Stylistically, they range from
simple obliqued letters to characters
that mimic cursive writing.
Originally, italic letters were not
designed to complement a roman
typeface. First used in the 16th century,
they were created as independent
fonts. Designed as single-weight
families, they included only lowercase
characters: no caps, numbers, or
punctuation. The idea was to use caps
and other characters as necessary
from whatever font the printer had
available. In the 17th century italics
became a legitimate part of a type
family and had slanted caps and numbers
as part of the offering.
ITC Novarese, a design that has
caused much confusion since its
release because of its lack of italic
capital letters, is really a traditional
interpretation of the italic genre.
ITC Cerigo is another variation on
the italic theme. The roman lowercase
is upright italic characters, while the
italic has the same characters with a
Scripts have always been wonderful communication
tools; they just need proper care and feeding to
do their work best.
About the author Allan Haley is director of Words & Letters for the International Typeface Corporation.