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Following the design of manuscripts, printers of incunabula also had the first letter (initial) of the first word of each chapter in large size and in red ink. In the process of printing, the corresponding part of the page for the initial was left blank, and later, a craftsman called a "rubricator" drew a decorative initial in that space. To designate the letter to be drawn, a small form of the letter was sometimes printed in the space beforehand. This small printed letter is called the "guide letter."

Other decorations for manuscripts include border decorations and pictorially represented initials. They are referred to as "illuminations," and were also used in incunabula.

Rubrication in "Biblia Latina" Rubrication in "Figurae Bibliae" Rubrication in "De civitate dei" Rubrication in "Pantheologia, sive Summa universae theologiae"

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