Avoid Faux Italics – Website Review

Andrea sent in the web design of Wear Health for typographic review. While the hierarchies work well, and I understand the font choice for the mood he wants to create, I suggest removing the faux italics.

TL;DW: Faux italics are artificially created italics by the browser. They are distorted, without optical corrections, which is bad. The browser creates them, because the needed font file is not provided. If you want italics, add the file. If you don’t, then change the styling. But don’t let your fonts get hurt.

The design briefing

  • The key audience is corporates and enterprises
  • Their top 3 values are future, reliable, human centered
  • The atmosphere of the website should be future, industrial, resilience

Font choice

Faux italics look off

Of course, you have to have an eye for it and with the typeface Mule it’s particularly hard to recognize, since the true italics are very subtly. But once you’ve seen it, it will haunt you. My recommendation would be loading the proper italic fonts or styling the quotes differently, by using the upright.

Faux italics 😱 created by the browser: Especially at the lower case a, you can see how it gets to dense when the stem meets the bow in the to right corner. As a whole things look off and distorted.
True italics 😀 how they should like with optical corrections. In this typeface, they are just slightly angled, much more elegant and friendlier.

What’s your opinion on this? Happy to hear your thoughts in the comments blow! Here you can submit your design for a free Type Check.


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