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From Print to Web: A Brief History of the Drop Cap

brief history of the drop cap. I love drop caps—they always clutch my attention. Initially, drop caps or initial caps were incorporated into illuminated manuscripts dating back to the 4th century. Drop caps from this time period originally were heavily designed with more illustrative elements. For example, the photograph below illuminates that the illustration of the crucifixion of St Andrew is actually a drop cap for the letter D. I love how the scribe seamlessly integrated text with imagery to create—what I would call—a piece of art. The scribe was the ultimate graphic designer (even through the design is not legible). However, with modernization and the introduction of san serif font families—the majority of the drop caps now are scaled back with simple designs. I think it is important to note, that studies have revealed that companies who incorporated drop caps into their websites, witnessed an increase in revenue and readership. Therefore, I predict drop caps will never go out of style. Or will they? Check out more about drop caps here: and




crucifixion of St Andrew


  1. Julie Tran wrote:

    Nicely done with the drop cap in the paragraph! I love drop caps when reading, it catches my attention and make the opening more appealing

    Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  2. Elisabeth Essmann wrote:

    That’s really interesting about how companies who used drop caps saw increased revenue. Who knew! Nice use of examples, I love how you integrated one into your text.

    Friday, April 28, 2017 at 12:00 pm | Permalink