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Typography for the Web

5d201d801f5a6e5a54c1178a20eb913d?s=47 Prateek Rungta
October 21, 2010

Typography for the Web

A very basic introduction to web typography and how it should be approached.

Presented internally during my stint at Tenmiles Corp. More…

5d201d801f5a6e5a54c1178a20eb913d?s=128

Prateek Rungta

October 21, 2010
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Transcript

  1. October 2010 Prateek Rungta Typography For the Web

  2. “ 6 May 2008 @zeldman Content precedes design. Design in

    the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.
  3. “ 1985 Apple Human Interface group motto A word is

    worth a thousand pictures.
  4. Content is King. 4

  5. “ 14 June 2010 @jasonfried Writing is design. Design your

    sentences with the right words like you design your interfaces with the right pixels.
  6. “ 13 July 2009 @rakeshrach Online writing requires more attention

    to readers’ attention: the more you write, the less they read.
  7. Good copy is a pre-requisite. 7

  8. “ September 2010 — Oliver Reichenstein If you look at

    text as an interface, typography is its usability.
  9. ABOUT Profile Projects Contact KNOW HOW Articles Speaking Tweets PRODUCTS

    Web Trend Map WP-Template iPad App Web Design is 95% Typography October 19, 2006 by Oliver Reichenstein « Previous | Next » 95% of the information on the web is written language. It is only logical to say that a web designer should get good training in the main discipline of shaping written information, in other words: Typography. Information design is typography Back in 1969, Emil Ruder, a famous Swiss typographer, wrote on behalf of his contemporary print materials what we could easily say about our contemporary websites: Today we are inundated with such an immense flood of printed matter that the value of the individual work has depreciated, for our harassed contemporaries simply cannot take everything that is printed today. It is the typographer’s task to divide up and organize and interpret this mass of printed matter in such a way that the reader will have a good chance of finding what is of interest to him. With some imagination (replace print with online) this sounds like the job description of an information designer. It is the information designer’s task “to divide up and organize and interpret this mass of printed matter in such a way that the reader will have a good chance of finding what is of interest to him”. informationarchitects.jp/en/the-web-is-all-about-typography-period
  10. Let’s set some type. 10

  11. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program—many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Excerpt from Reading Design by Dean Allen. Published November 2001 in A List Apart, Issue 128. Default Safari 5 typesetting
  12. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program —many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Excerpt from Reading Design by Dean Allen. Published November 2001 in A List Apart, Issue 128. Measure (width) body { width: 30em; margin-left: 3em; margin-right: 3em; }
  13. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program—many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Excerpt from Reading Design by Dean Allen. Published November 2001 in A List Apart, Issue 128. Type Scale /* Base 14px = 1em */ body { font-size: 14px } /* 14 * 1.2858 = 18px */ h1 { font-size: 1.2858em } /* 14 * 0.8572 = 12px */ .footnote{font-size:0.8572em}
  14. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program—many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Excerpt from Reading Design by Dean Allen. Published November 2001 in A List Apart, Issue 128. Leading /* 14 * 1.5 = 21px */ body { line-height: 1.5em; }
  15. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program—many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Excerpt from Reading Design by Dean Allen. Published November 2001 in A List Apart, Issue 128. Vertical Rhythm
  16. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program—many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Vertical Rhythm /* 18 * 1.1677 = 21px */ /* 18 * 0.6678 = 12px */ /* 18 * 0.5 = 9px */ h1 { line-height: 1.1677em; margin: 0.6678em 0 0.5em; } /* 14 * 0.5 = 21px */ p { margin: 0 0 1.5em; }
  17. Reading Design I spent a few semesters teaching typography at

    an institute of art and design. My classes began on the first day with a short quiz asking students—at that stage three years into a communications design degree—to draw some basic symbols such as an ampersand and an apostrophe, and to mark suggestions for typographic improvements to some fairly shabby copy I’d written. Term after term I’d go over the tests and scratch my head wondering what they’d been up to the past three years. With due respect to my colleagues in the program—many of whom taught in addition to running corporate design shops or ad agencies—the education had plainly focused away from what I consider the primary goal of communication design: to make vital, engaging work intended above all to be read. To use design to communicate. To the students, text had been handled as a graphic element, to be shifted within grids, manipulated and filtered like a photo, to be squinted at and scrutinized upon critique but never apparently to be read. “But editors take care of text, we just have to design it” was the response when I’d insist that designers learn about editorial style and usage, which always made me laugh. I complain about the cult of designer ego because it takes away from the craft mentality that leads to better work. The cult of editorial ego is another matter altogether: surrounded as we are by stilted prose, overstatement and eye–glazing textual banality, text has no more implicit safety in the hands of editors. That said, there are talents and hacks on both sides of the barbed wire and landmines that lie between editors and designers, none of whom benefit from ignorance of what the other side is doing. If you design with editors, study what they know, and have the same reference books at hand. And above all, read what you are designing, and imagine reading it for the first time, like someone who just found it. Vertical Rhythm /* 18 * 1.1677 = 21px */ /* 18 * 0.6678 = 12px */ /* 18 * 0.5 = 9px */ h1 { line-height: 1.1677em; margin: 0.6678em 0 0.5em; } /* 14 * 0.5 = 21px */ p { margin: 0 0 1.5em; }
  18. It's the little things. 18

  19. It’s the little things. 19

  20. "Closely held beliefs are not easily released". 20

  21. “Closely held beliefs are not easily released”. 21

  22. Closely held beliefs are not easily released”. 22 “

  23. “ 2007 — Massimo Vignelli We’re not talking about style,

    we’re talking about quality. Style is tangible, quality is intangible.
  24. “ 2007 — Massimo Vignelli We’re not talking about style,

    we’re talking about quality. Style is tangible, quality is intangible.
  25. If you are currently creating websites with any version of

    HTML, you’re already using HTML5. 25
  26. If you are currently creating websites with any version of

    , you’re already using . 26
  27. Typography ≠ Typefaces 27

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  29. Josef Müller–Brockmann, 1959

  30. Simplicity Michael Bierut on Helvetica 30

  31. Helvetica (2008)

  32. THE BIG PICTURE Dieter Rams on Good Design 32

  33. Objectified (2009)

  34. prateekrungta.com Prateek Rungta Thank you.