Okay, so this week I figured to write on something I read about in Robert Bringhurst’s most excellent book, The Elements of Typographic Style. Specifically, it mentions the caveat of using modern software to force a style from a font. Perhaps folly is a strong word, or not depending on your views of the matter at hand. Me? I am a bit of a purist about things (I still get annoyed that they updated the effects on Star Trek the original series).
I created an animated gif to show the striking differences between faux and real styles of italic and bold created in Photoshop. Indesign does not allow for this, but there is the option to skew type for italicized fakery. When I read about the difference between faking a style and using the actual font style I was amazed, and though the degree of difference varies from font to font, it is something I think we as designers should be aware of. The tools we use can do a many splendid things, but as it has been written: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Know the effects of tampering and then decide if it is necessary because a faux font not only looks different but it can alter the flow of text.
Along with mentioning the risk of font fakery, Bringhurst’s book is loaded with a plethora, a wealth even, of typographic information.