A web typography learning game
In its first era of popularity, it was all pop and pulp, but now it seems reserved for the task of adding just the slightest bit of a smirk to extremely straight-faced endeavors: elegant magazines, important books, experimental theater, and $80 ceramic pipes.
I didn’t realise how popular this typeface was until I stumbled across this article and started noticing it in bookshops or books I myself own (Mark Grief’s Against Everything).
It was used on the first cover of James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake and for the credits of Friends. Quite a weird mix.
(Here’s a good reimagining of Lydia by the Colophon Foundry)
Font Editing for Everyone
Just minutes ago, at the ATypI conference in Warsaw, the world was introduced to a new kind of font: a variable font. Jointly developed by Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Adobe, a variable font is, as John Hudson put it, “a single font file that behaves like multiple fonts”. Imagine a single font file gaining an infinite flexibility of weight, width, and other attributes without also gaining file size — and imagine what this means for design.
A List Apart:
Type is tied to its medium. Both movable type and phototypesetting methods influenced the way that type was designed and set in their time. Today, the inherent responsiveness of the web necessitates flexible elements and relative units—both of which are used when setting type. Media queries are used to make more significant adjustments at different breakpoints.
However, fonts are treated as another resource that needs to be loaded, instead of a living, integral part of a responsive design. Changing font styles and swapping out font weights with media queries represent the same design compromises inherent in breakpoints.
Why would we want this sort of flexibility on the web? Because loading multiple weights and widths is impractical in some cases and outright foolish in most. Yet the ability to stretch and expand a single responsive font file would supply improved performance23, as only one font would need to be requested, and typographic subtlety, since we could adjust the text as we see fit.
Grazie a una collaborazione fra Apple, Adobe, Microsoft e Google, il formato OpenType include ore una specifica per dei font variabili: font che invece di avere un peso predefinito (grassetto, normale o leggero; per esempio) possono calcolarlo e adattarlo partendo da una font family di base, a seconda del contesto.
Google Fonts ha un nuovo design, che dà più risalto i singoli font e aiuta a scegliere e comparare le 804 famiglie tipografiche che il servizio offre.
Scrivere una frase TUTTA IN MAIUSCOLO, CON L’INTENTO DI ENFATIZZARLA, può in realtà rivelarsi controproducente, risultando meno leggibile:
Because we see words as shapes, big rectangular blocks of all caps take us much longer to process. In an emergency, that extra time to decipher an urgent message may come at a cost. […]
So why do we use all caps instead of bold or italic or even highlighted? Because back when lawyers used typewriters, the only simple way to emphasize anything was to use ALL CAPS. And while today our fancy post-typewriter machines could certainly render the text in other “conspicuous” ways, tradition is hard to break. Just ask the weather service.
Type Burrito spiega, semplicemente, per chi non ne capisce molto e si sente intimidito, come combinare e scegliere i font:
If you have two fonts that work together but still seem a little too similar, try changing the size or weight to add some variety.
Need more unity? The easiest place to start is to look at the shapes of the letterforms. Or try something more subtle and sophisticated: unify your typography by finding type designed around the same time, or to find type inspired by the same tool or medium (broad-nib pen, carved in stone, etc—you can usually figure this out with just a bit of googling).