Oblique type

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Oblique type (or slanted, sloped) is a form of type that slants slightly to the right, used in the same manner as italic type. Unlike italic type, however, it does not use different glyph shapes; it uses the same glyphs as roman type, except distorted. Oblique fonts are usually associated with sans-serif typefaces, especially with geometric faces, as opposed to humanist ones whose design tends to draw more on history. Oblique and italic type are often confused.

An example of normal (roman) and true italics text:

An example set in both roman and italic type.

The same example, as oblique text:

The same example as set in oblique type.

The start of this confusion possibly appeared when Adrian Frutiger named the slanted versions of his typefaces Univers and Frutiger as italic. Following this viewpoint, sans-serif typefaces often do not have true italic versions. The Gill Sans and Goudy Sans[1] typefaces are two well-known exceptions. The sans-serif fonts within the ClearType Font Collection introduced in Windows Vista typefaces have true italic versions, as does the older Trebuchet MS typeface.

True oblique typefaces have letterforms which are slanted, but maintain the proportions of counters and the thick-and-thin quality of strokes. They are sometimes generated automatically by computer display systems when italic style is requested but appropriate font data is absent.[2]


  1. ^ "Goudy Sans". Linotype.com. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 
  2. ^ "Fonts". W3.org. Retrieved 12 November 2011. 

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