I just can’t stop opening excellent typography-related articles, which means I need to subject you to blog posts that round them up so I can clean up my open tabs.
Vistaserve is “a grass-roots web hosting initiative hailing from Thornbury, Australia. Inspired by the quirky web of the 90s, we allow users to create home pages, your own little sandbox on the World Wide Web, as it were.” Caitlin & Paul (I think the no-last-name thing is part of the aesthetic) wanted to get the fonts right, which meant removing anti-aliasing (the thing that makes fonts look good on screens!). CSS was no help. Turned out to be quite a journey involving literally rebuilding the fonts.
Thomas Bohm makes the point that the kerning around punctation may require special attention. For example, a question mark needing a little extra space or moving a superscript number away from butting against a letter.
You could do it manually with stuff like
&hairsp in between characters. But I’m far too lazy for that unless I’m working on a very special piece. Personally, I just cross my fingers that the font I’m using is high quality enough to have thought of and implemented this sort of attention to detail.
I’m sure we’ve all seen, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” as a tester string for type, because it uses all the characters in the alphabet. Jonathan Hoefler created some new proofing text that is much more helpful for typographers like him.
That’s deep in the type nerd weeds there. More useful perhaps is another recent post from Jonathan on pairings. I’ve probably read dozens of posts on font pairings in my life, but this one resonates the most.
Some of the most dazzling typographic pairings — and certainly my favorites — are those that use unexpected fonts together. At left, the grey flannel suit that is Tungsten Compressed is paired with crimson silk doublet of the St. Augustin Civilité, a fiery sixteenth century typeface that demands a good foil.
If you’ve got macOS Catalina, you’ve got access to some really nice fonts you might not know about that need to be manually downloaded. Ralf Herrmann has the story on what you get:
- Font families:
- Canela from Commercial Type in 16 styles
- Domaine Display from Klim Type Foundry in 6 styles
- Founders Grotesk by Klim Type Foundry in 17 styles
- Graphik by Commercial Type in 18 styles
- Produkt by Commercial Type in 8 styles
- Proxima Nova by Mark Simonson Studio in 12 styles
- Publico by Commercial Type in 12 styles
- Individual display fonts:
I get Erik Kennedy’s Learn UI Design newsletter, and he mentions using Calena in it…
Overall, Canela walks this balance between the warmth of human handwriting and stately details. It makes me think of something literary, which is why I used it for project in one of the new video lessons in Learn UI Design.
Type specimens are curious objects. They aim to inspire designers. They are tools with which to make design decisions. They are also marketing material for foundries. This project will dig into specimens from these three perspectives: as artefacts made by and for font designers to evolve type culture; as tools for font users to make decisions about choosing and using type; and as effective marketing tools.