Are faux small caps now considered OK?

Bringhurst writes that small caps need to be designed to visually match the standard capitals of a font, so that the resulting mixed caps look uniform and balanced; and that purely geometrically generated small caps can only be a parody. For a long time it was obvious to me that “faux small caps” are a mistake that would only be made by clueless programmers of consumer software like MS Word, and those of their users which are equally clueless.

Now recently I encountered several examples of – I’d say bad – mixed caps using faux small caps in places where I wouldn’t have expected them:

The back entrance of the US embassy in Berlin:

(click to see full size)

The credits of the TV series Hemlock Grove:

In both cases I’d expect the people in charge to have hired a designer that knows his/her business – but in both cases the small caps seem to be just scaled-down versions of the regular caps. What’s going on here? Do some typographers / designers actually consider this to be OK?


They are most certainly not OK with me; I’m totally with Bringhurst on this. I hate seeing small caps with significantly thicker-stroked (enlarged) first letters.

P.s. For those unacquainted, we are referring to Robert Bringhurst’s seminal work on typography ‘The Elements of Typographic Style’

Source : Link , Question Author : A. Donda , Answer Author : tk32

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