Choosing typefaces is an integral part of every web design project. With thousands of typefaces available from hosting services such as Typekit, as well an ever-improving collection of free fonts available, there has never been a better time to be a typography-obsessed web designer.
One could easily argue that nothing affects a design more than typography. And good typography starts with choosing an appropriate typeface. But can having too much choice be a bad thing? With more choices, we have more opportunities to make bad decisions.
As we refine our methods of responsive web design, we’ve increasingly focused on measure (another word for “line length”) and its relationship to how people read.
The popularization of the “ideal measure” has led to advice such as “Increase font size for large screens and reduce font size for small screens.” While a good measure does improve the reading experience, it’s only one rule for good typography. Another rule is to maintain a comfortable font size.
Handwritten text shows a personal side of its author, a side that is not easy to put into words and that contrasts with the standardized look of digital communication. This contrast and “aura” is perhaps what makes handwriting fonts so popular. As a typographer, I love handwriting, and in this article I’d like to share a hands-on overview of my creation process of a handwriting font.
Over the past four years, I’ve completed three typefaces inspired by handwriting. I started with the digitization of Albert Einstein’s handwriting and continued with Conspired Lovers, a font based on my own love-letter writing. In 2013, I ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of a font based on Sigmund Freud’s handwriting. The public interest in the project was overwhelming, and the Sigmund Freud typeface became the first typeface to be reviewed in the Wall Street Journal.
Arabic calligraphy was originally a tool for communication, but with time, it began to be used in architecture, decoration and coin design. Its evolution into these major roles was a reflection of the early Muslims’ need to avoid, as their beliefs required, figures and pictorials that were used as idols before Islam was established in the Arabian Peninsula.
While the Arabic tribes preferred to memorize texts and poetry, the first Muslims tried to document their holy book (Qur’an Kareem) using the scripts that we’ll look at in this article. In order to understand how these scripts developed into the beautiful and complex shapes we know today, we have to understand the history of Arabic calligraphy.
Once thought of as amateurish by professional designers, free and open-source fonts have gone through something of a renaissance in just the last few years. The quality of available free fonts has increased dramatically. To be frank, free fonts don't have a good reputation, and often they are knock-offs of thoroughly crafted, already established typefaces. So is it time for professional designers to take a second look?
Early in my design career, around 2003, I wanted to purchase the font DIN for a project at work. My manager promptly dismissed the idea of paying for a font and instead handed me a CD that had “5,000 free fonts” on it, saying “This CD has every font a designer could possibly need. No need to waste money buying fonts!”
Back in the days when he was a student, Portuguese graphic and type designer Natanael Gama started to play with glyphs — as a way to discover typography. Doodling around, he created Exo, a font which he released for free in a Kickstarter project. The project turned out to be quite successful. Exo became so popular that Natanael did a complete redesign.
It was two years ago. Today, Natanael is no longer a student and Exo has evolved into what we are happy to present to you today: Exo 2.0, an elegant, contemporary geometric sans serif typeface.
In this article, we’ll take you on a thought-provoking journey through carefully selected Web designs. Certainly, these websites have some captivating interactivity; however, the selection of type and the typographic styling and spacing are the reasons why we chose them for this piece.
In the context of typography, considering composition and grid structure is also important. Composition and grid structure are vital factors in effective communication with type.
When you buy something, I bet you want it to work. Heck, even if you use something for free — maybe borrowed from a friend — I bet you want it to work. No one prefers hiking boots that are too tight (or too loose), a car that shimmies when you drive faster than 40 miles an hour, or a kitchen knife that can’t cut a tomato.
And Web designers don’t prefer fonts that don’t fit a project, fall apart in different browsers or can’t be used in a mock-up. We also don’t like wading through all of the fonts that won’t work for us in order to find the ones that will. It takes precious time away from other tasks and responsibilities.
In the first installment of this two-part series on type classification, we covered the basics of type classification — the various methods people have used, why they are helpful, and a brief survey of type history, classifying and identifying typefaces along the way. Unfortunately, we only got as far as Roman (traditional serif) typefaces and the early-19th century.
Now we’re back for part 2! Part 2 will primarily cover sans typefaces, with a nod to display typefaces and other less common categories, as well as address a few of the questions people have about whether type classification is helpful and necessary.
Good typography has always been a defining aspect of effective Web design, and this holds true especially for websites in which the emphasis is on presenting a large amount of content — specifically, articles, news and stories.
Whether for a magazine or international newspaper, the designer of any website that distributes a lot of content has always had to consider typographic details as seriously and thoroughly as a print designer would. In 2009, we conducted a survey of then current typographic practices. Since then, responsive design techniques have clearly gained momentum and established their place in the landscape of CSS layout.