Manuscript Preparation, Copyediting, and Proofreading

Q. I’m proofreading a manuscript and would like to know what the rule is for formatting a drop initial cap if the remaining text is in italics because it’s an exhibition title. The title is in italics, but the starting letter is a drop cap and is in roman. Is that OK, or should the cap be in italics as well?

A. Truly, there is no rule. A graphic designer might be the best person to rule on the aesthetics of roman versus italics in this case, since a happy result depends largely on the typeface, size, and position of the drop cap.