After starting and rejecting a few different approaches the new Italic for Merriweather is properly underway now. This italic is a kind of midpoint between a floridly italic design and a slanted version of the roman. It takes on many classic italic style structures and details but retains many of the element font in the roman to maintain better rendering characteristics on screen. So for instance the a and g take on the infant or single loop style as you would expect from an italic using traditional construction. Similarly there are in and out strokes. However these strokes are quite muted in their impact because they are quite short. The joins on a traditional italic would be expected to be much lower than the ones used in Merriweather’s italic giving a more triangular counter shape. Retaining a high join from the roman will mean that the counters stay more open allowing for better rendering at small sizes.
Arrotino deliberately takes on the structure and manner of 15th and 16th century written italic. Arrotino italic also shows the low joins and triangular counter shapes characteristic of this style. The flat middle join in letter e shows this is an unfinished design.
Merriweather Italic looks to integrate the flowing feeling found in Arrotino’s style with a more rational and quieter feeling
Helvetica’s oblique italic is a classic example of slanting the upright forms to make an italic. Note the two storied a shape and the flat middle on the e.
I know that I have been heavily influenced both by short time learning to carve letters at the Cardozo Kindesley workshop and by my teacher Gerard Unger who taught me at the MATD program, Reading University, UK.
Coranto is available from Type Together. This image was captured from the Type Together web site.
Other designs can also be licensed from Gerard’s own web site
As I test the italic Merriweather font in web browsers I am sure there will be changes. So that you can get a better sense of the way the italic works with the roman I will post images of it in use with the roman.
I will also be posting image of the larger glyph set in Merriweather and some examples of the improvements that can be found in the design of the roman.