What is Typesetting?

The work of a web typographer—that’s you—is challenging to say the least. Between highly variable screen sizes (and thereby line lengths), font size variability, and even font availability, it’s difficult to design great reading experiences. Tim Brown’s Flexible Typesetting is here to help.

Web Typography: Numerals

In this excerpt from Chapter 2 of Richard Rutter’s Web Typography, he explains the importance of proper numeral usage in our work, including when you should and shouldn’t use “old-style” numerals.

Using Webfonts

Using webfonts begins with a simple CSS declaration, but creating usable font stacks and fallbacks is not as simple as it might sound. Bram Stein sets us up for success in an exclusive excerpt from Chapter 2 of his spanking new Webfont Handbook, available now from A Book Apart.

User Interfaces for Variable Fonts

The tools we design with have a unique effect on the way we work, constraining and empowering us while we explore, examine and create. Variable fonts give us a new, wide open typographic space with which to work. Instead of prescribing value to individual UI elements in a vacuum, we should take a hybrid and calculated approach to variable font interfaces. How do we structure our design tools to adapt to the new advantages variable fonts provide us with?

Accessibility Whack-A-Mole

“How do we deal with accessibility needs for which there are no definitive answers?” asks Eleanor Ratliff. Sometimes we arrive at a fix that helps one group of people only to find that our solution undermines another group’s experience. Through the prism of typeface choice, Ratliff relates how she and her team tackled the problem of accessibility whack-a-mole for a rebranding project.

Webfonts on the Prairie

Richard Fink first wrote about webfonts for A List Apart in 2010. Back then, those of us making the web were itching to break away from so-called “web-safe” fonts. And break away we did: by 2016, roughly 60 percent of sites were reportedly using webfonts, up from just two percent in 2011. Webfonts and, by extension, web typography, have blossomed. So surely no one would argue for a return to system fonts, right? Wrong. This article teases apart the arguments for and against.

The Rich (Typefaces) Get Richer

Type on the web has come a long way since the beginning of the decade. We now have literally thousands of fonts at our disposal to use on our sites. But the same faces—the Futuras, the Gothams, the Proxima Novas—crop up everywhere. Jeremiah Shoaf encourages us to break out of our cognitive ruts and explore the wealth of typographic diversity at our fingertips.

2015 Summer Reading Issue

The dog days are upon us—but instead of giving up in the summer swelter, take heart! We’ve got an extra-special reading list of bright, insightful brainfood. ALA’s third annual summer reader explores what’s been on the web industry’s mind lately, from accessibility to performance, from CSS techniques to web type, from mentorship to more collaborative approaches. It’s a list as cool and fancy as a watermelon-basil popsicle. Yeah, that does sound good, doesn’t it? Kick back, chill out, and get to reading.

Readable Wearables

Displays that are more tiny than our lowest-size breakpoints require a more condensed range of type sizes. If you don’t already have in place a typographic system that can absorb the demands of this new context (watches, wearables, digital sticky notes, whatever), now might be the time to consider it. Matt Griffin was ready for anything because his site was simple and built to be future friendly.