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The best italic fonts in 2020

best italic font: Maryleen FC
(Image credit: Black Foundry)

If you need to emphasise your wording, the best italic fonts are the perfect solution. Taking their name from Italian designed calligraphic typefaces, italic fonts are traditionally slanted to stress the importance of certain words or phrases. And because italic fonts have such a long history, type designers have created a range of stunning options.

Whether you want to trace italic fonts back to their calligraphic roots, or experiment with more contemporary alternatives, you’ll find what you need in this roundup. We’ve scoured the internet to bring you the best italic fonts in a range of styles and budgets to suit most needs.

And if you can’t find what you’re looking for here, check out our guide to the best free fonts for further inspiration. We've also got the best script fonts, fun fonts and a guide to font pairing

01. Monotype Baskerville Italic

italic font

Classy and clear, you can't beat Monotype Baskerville (Image credit: Monotype)

Taking its name from the renowned writer and printer John Baskerville, this typeface is popular with designers thanks to its stylish, high-contrast forms. The regular font is classy and clearly legible, making it perfect for a variety of formal writing purposes. Meanwhile the italic version lends itself perfectly to advertisements thanks to its elegant serifs.

Whether you want to use Monotype Baskerville Italic in its standard or italic form, there are lots of flexible buying options. The entire six typeface family can be yours for £161, or you can purchase individual families for £35 each. With semi bold and bold styles available, there’s lots of scope for this designer favourite.

02. Orpheus Italic

Orpheus font

An old typeface gets a modern revival (Image credit: Canada Type)

Orpheus was created by Walter Tiemann back in 1928, but it’s been dragged into the digital age by type foundry Canada Type. This updated version includes Euphorion, the name Tiemann gave to his italic Orpheus style back in the day.

The serif family flows nicely in its regular set, but the italic version practically flows across the page or screen. Armed with a variety of ligatures that can be purchased separately, Orpheus Italic has the potential to add a touch of sophistication to your messaging.

03. Maryleen FY

Maryleen FY

Take a romantic break with Maryleen FY (Image credit: Creative Market)

As its tagline suggests, Maryleen FY is a smooth italic font that will lend an air of romance to your written messages. Describing itself as “a hybrid between didone, cursive and sans-serif”, Maryleen FY brings a variety of shapes to the table that would easily lend themselves to promotional materials.

If you want to get your hands on this refined italic typeface, there are three buying options to choose from. A desktop licence will cost you $25, while the e-publishing license will set you back $50. Finally, there’s the app license, which comes to $250.

04 Roos Italic

italic fonts: Roos

Get the Renaissance look with Roos (Image credit: Canada Type)

Representing an expansion and digitization of Sjoerd Hendrik De Roos typeface De Roos Romein, the Roos family by Canada Type perfectly captures the shape of the famously distinguished font.

Not only is the typeface well-regarded by designers, its italic styling is considered to be one of the most beautiful realisations of the form. Recalling the shapes of Renaissance lettering, Roos balances its width, slopes and ascenders perfectly between its Roman and Italic forms.

05. FF Seria Italic

FF Seria

Subtle but stunning, it's FF Seria (Image credit: My Fonts)

One of the more recent entries on this list, FF Seria was created by Dutch type designer Martin Majoor in 2000. Available in six weights, this set includes four italic variants, including regular and bold options.

As you can see from the image above, it’s one of the more subtler italic entries. However this doesn’t take away from its effect. When paired with Seria Regular, its slender letter forms still provide emphasis without going over the top. What’s more, this classy font won’t cost you the earth, as prices range from between £49 and £65.

06. Arvo Italic

italic font

This blocky italic packs a punch (Image credit: Anton Koovit)

We’ve seen plenty of calligraphic serifs so far, but Arvo shakes up the formula a bit thanks to its slab-serif design. However just because it’s a bit more blunt doesn’t mean it won’t prioritise your lettering either on screen or in print.

Made up of four families and first released by Google Fonts. Arvo is free for you to download. What’s more, Arvo supports languages that use the Cryillic script. We could see this italic font working especially well on web design projects, and with two italic weights to choose from, designers still have room to experiment.

07. Adobe Caslon Pro Italic

italic font

William Caslon's legacy lives on (Image credit: Adobe)

Seasoned typographers are probably already familiar with the name Caslon. Eminent type designer William Caslon started releasing typefaces in 1722, and this Adobe set revived by Carol Twombly uses his specimen pages to bring it up to date.

With a variety of text sizes available, this practical font is perfectly suited to books, magazines, and corporate communications. Each style can be purchased individually, with the italic set costing $35, or you can buy the complete set for $169.

08. Operator

Operator

This typewriter-inspired font hammers home its message (Image credit: Hoefler&Co)

Describing itself as a “typeface rooted in the traditions of typewriting”, Operator builds on this aesthetic while moving away from the mechanical restraints. The result is a functional font with “colourful italics” that are especially suited to programming environments.

The complete font contains 64 weights and will set you back the rather hefty sum of $599. However the basic set, including those colourful italic letters, is available to buy on its own for the much more manageable $199.

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