Because of trouble with upright Greek characters, I decided to switch from latin modern to Bitstream Charter (even though I don't really like it). It seems that together with the mathdesign package, I'm getting the math features I need.

What I'm observing after switching to Charter is that my page headings, using scrbook, will be typeset in a 'bad' italic font instead of the 'nice' italic font that is used in the document body. Please see the following example and have a look at the top of the second page compared to the italic text at the very end of the second page:

\documentclass{scrbook}

\usepackage{scrpage2}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc}
\usepackage[T1]{fontenc}
\usepackage{lipsum}
\usepackage[ngerman]{babel}
\usepackage[charter]{mathdesign}

\begin{document}

\lipsum

For comparison:

\end{document}


In the log, there are no messages about missing fonts.

What did I do wrong?

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It's not a "bad" italic font; by default, scrpage2 typesets the header in a slanted font. Put

\renewcommand{\headfont}{\itshape}


in the preamble and you're done.

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Oh yes, I think I just didn't have a look at the right documents. Most probably, this is the intended behavior or scrpage2. It does not typeset the page headings italic, but slanted by default, which looks okay with e.g. latin modern, but extremely ugly with Charter (to me at least). –  Christoph Jan 20 '12 at 22:06
@Christoph Slanted looks ugly in all serif fonts, to me. :) –  egreg Jan 20 '12 at 22:10

Even if you don't use scrpage2, the default of the KOMA-Script classes is to typeset the header in a slanted font. You may change this to italic by adding the following to your preamble:

\setkomafont{pagehead}{\normalfont\normalcolor\itshape}

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