Speed Lettering 09 - oblique directions or positions [Column_Letters & Figures]

obliquefeb13,98.jpg: a kind of oblique angle made by string of Japanese boxcars

Image of speed created by “Speed Lettering” seems to be the effect of the appearance caused by oblique directions or positions. But it is said that we cannot explain the mechanism of the effect on the outer layer.

The first step for the design of italic or oblique fonts would be fixing the angle of inclination. So the angle would be an important element in designing the italic fonts.

Transporting or informing speed grew year by year. Thus, we can imagine that the demand for the effect of the appearance caused by italic font is also increased.

If the effect of the appearance caused by italic font is proportional to the angle of inclination, we also can imagine that the angle should also grow year by year.

I examined the angle in a book “The Elements of Typographic Style ver.3.2” written by Robert Bringhurst in 2008. Robert introduces about 90 italic fonts in this book, which he thought to be representative. The average angle of the italic fonts is 10.6 degrees. Maximum angle is 24.9 degrees, minimum angle: 1.5 degrees. But there are no relationship between the angle and the year the font designed.

This result can be understood that;
1) there is no relationship between the effect of the appearance in oblique and the time series, or,
2) the effect of the appearance in oblique doesn’t change in the time series, or,
3) we cannot represent the change of the effect by figures.

Psychology taught us that there is an effect.
If the effect of the appearance caused by oblique direction is definite, it is hard to explain why there are italic fonts with so many kinds of angles.
Here, we can confirm that we cannot grasp the mechanism of the effect on the outer layer.




そこで、斜体の傾斜角の年代における推移に何か傾向などあるか、手元にあるタイポグラフィーの本「The Elements of Typographic Style ver.3.2」(2008、Robert Bringhurst著)を資料にして調べてみた。この本には、星の数ほどある斜体のうち、代表的と思われる斜体がおよそ90点紹介されている。それらの傾斜角をそれぞれ測って、エクセルに入力し表をつくってみた。




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