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Alternative meaning: Initial (linguistics)
Initial P in Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire
Detail from a rare Blackletter Bible (1497) printed in Strasbourg by J.R.Grueninger. The coloured chapter initials were hand written after the page was printed.

An initial is a more largely set letter, often several lines comprehensive, with a decorating character at the beginning of a work, a chapter or a paragraph.

In the early period of the printing, the typesetters released the necessary surface, so that the Initials (in a further work procedure) could be arranged by book painters or writers. Historical Initials was decorated frequently with ornamentations or motives, which refer to the action of the text.

The word comes from the Latin initialis, which means standing at the beginning.

See also typography, illuminated manuscript, incunabulum.

Initials also refer to the initial letters of a name. For example, George Bernard Shaw was well-known by his initials fr:Sigle ru:Инициал sv:Anfang (typografi)

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