10 incredible drop cap designs

Since before Roman times, calligraphers have used ornate lettering to help draw attention to passages of text, highlighting and illuminating important sections with the use of illustrative, often dazzling letterforms and creative fonts.

After the introduction of Gutenberg's printing press in the 13th Century, much type was set mechanically but the drop cap remained, completed by hand by artists after the page had been printed. Typically the printer would leave a space for the illustration, marking it with a single character to indicate the letterform required. Alternatively a wood-cut block featuring the display character would be inserted alongside the metal type.

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