Drop caps were also used in books during these times. In the example below, drop caps are being used to order information alphabetically in a table of contents in a book. The initial caps were written in after the book had already been printed. Although not as beautiful as those in the illuminated manuscript, they still serve an important purpose.
Early printed books often strived to replicate illuminated manuscripts. Space was left after the book was printed so an artisan could illustrate an initial cap and borders. An example of this is seen below.
Today, drop caps are no longer necessary and are typically used as a decorative element. They are often associated with an "old" or "traditional" feeling as they had been used so often in older texts.
Designer Jessica Hische has created a project called Daily Drop Cap, in which she created a drop cap for every letter of the alphabet, for twelve entire alphabets. The drop caps are done in a number of different themes and different illustrative styles.