Just a Couple’a Fun Typography Links

It All Started With Emoji: Color Typography on the Web

“Typography on the web is in single color: characters are either black or red, never black and red …Then emoji hit the scene, became part of Unicode, and therefore could be expressed by characters — or “glyphs” in font terminology. The smiley, levitating businessman and the infamous pile of poo became true siblings to letters, numbers and punctuation marks.”

Roel Nieskens

Using emojis in code is easy. Head over to emojipedia and copy and paste one in.


Wakamai Fondue

Roel Nieskens released a tool that lets you upload a font file and see what’s inside, from how many characters it contains to the number of languages it supports. Here’s what you see once you upload a font, in this case Covik Sans Mono Black:

A screenshot of the Wakamai Fondue website

Why is this data useful? Well, I used this tool just the other day when I found a font file in a random Dropbox folder. What OpenType features does this font have? Are there any extra glyphs besides the Roman alphabet inside? Wakamai Fondue answered those questions for me in a jiffy.

CSS Techniques and Effects for Knockout Text

Knockout text is a technique where words are clipped out of an element and reveal the background. In other words, you only see the background because the letters are knocking out holes. It’s appealing because it opens up typographic styles that we don’t get out of traditional CSS properties, like color.

While we’ve seen a number of ways to accomplish knockout text in the past, there are some modern CSS properties we can use now and even enhance the effect further, like transitions and animations. Let’s see them in action.


An Introduction to the `fr` CSS unit

With all the excitement around CSS Grid, I haven't seen as much talk about the new fr CSS length unit (here's the spec). And now that browser support is rapidly improving for this feature, I think this is the time to explore how it can be used in conjunction with our fancy new layout engine because there are a number of benefits when using it; more legible and maintainable code being the primary reasons for making the switch.


The Equilateral Triangle of a Perfect Paragraph

Still, too many web designers neglect the importance of typography on the web. So far, I've only met a few that really understand typography and know how to apply that knowledge to their work. And the lack of knowledge about typography doesn't come from ignorance. I learned that web designers are commonly either self-taught and haven't grasped the importance of typography yet, or they actually studied design but typography was just one of the classes they had to attend.

I created the Better Web Type course to help raise awareness of the important role typography plays on the web. (more…)

Tracing the History of CSS Fonts

Chen Hui Jing has written an excellent post on the history of CSS fonts and the way that the W3C writes the specification and strange CSS properties like font-effect, font-emphasize and font-presentation.

As part of my perpetual obsession with typography, as well as CSS, I've been looking into how we got to having more web fonts than we can shake a stick at. What I love about how the W3C does things is that there are always links to previous versions of the specification, all the way back to the first drafts.

Although those are missing the full picture of the various discussions and meetings among all the individuals involved in crafting and implementing the specifications, it does offer some clues to how things got to where they are.

Combining Fonts

Another one from Jake Archibald!

This one is using two @font-face sets for the same font-family name. The second overrides the first, but only select characters of it, thanks to unicode-range.

You know how designers love ampersands? It's a thing. Dan Cederholm once pointed out some advice from Robert Bringhurst:

Since the ampersand is more often used in display work than in ordinary text, the more creative versions are often the more useful. There is rarely any reason not to borrow the italic ampersand for use with roman text.

Then Drew McLellan showed how to do that (without a <span>), using unicode-range.