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Choosing and Using Web Fonts

Changing styling to improve the readability of text


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Choosing and Using Web Fonts

with Laura Franz

Video: Changing styling to improve the readability of text

Now that we've picked Nimbus Sans as our transitional sans serif font, let's use it in our site. This time we'll open up the Arial default site in your text editor, and let's save it as nimbus_sans_tk_site. And again, you can keep it in the original folder since we will not be rewriting anything, and let's view it in the browser, and it's in Arial, and we need to get Nimbus Sans from Typekit.
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  1. 4m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. What you should know before watching this course
      1m 52s
    3. Using the exercise files
      1m 47s
  2. 14m 55s
    1. Recognizing the anatomy of letters
      4m 17s
    2. Understanding font classification
      4m 38s
    3. Finding and testing web fonts
      3m 41s
    4. Identifying common problems in fonts
      2m 19s
  3. 43m 43s
    1. Understanding Venetian fonts
      4m 0s
    2. Identifying a Venetian font
      4m 46s
    3. Understanding handwritten letters
      3m 22s
    4. Choosing a Venetian font
      3m 47s
    5. Creating a Typekit account and building a kit
      3m 43s
    6. Adding a Venetian font (Calluna) to your kit
      2m 51s
    7. Applying Calluna to your web site
      5m 54s
    8. Troubleshooting Typekit fonts that don't load
      2m 2s
    9. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      4m 25s
    10. Working with more than four styles in Typekit
      5m 22s
    11. Looking at how using a Venetian font affects the look and feel of a web page
      3m 31s
  4. 32m 53s
    1. Identifying an Old Style font
      6m 26s
    2. Choosing an Old Style font
      4m 30s
    3. Applying Crimson Text to a web site using Google web fonts
      3m 8s
    4. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      9m 20s
    5. Making various weights and styles work correctly across different browsers
      5m 16s
    6. Looking at how using an Old Style font affects the look and feel of a web page
      4m 13s
  5. 21m 12s
    1. Identifying a Transitional font
      5m 10s
    2. Choosing a Transitional font
      6m 36s
    3. Applying PT Sans to a site via Typekit
      2m 57s
    4. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      2m 59s
    5. Looking at how using a Transitional font affects the look and feel of a web page
      3m 30s
  6. 16m 58s
    1. Identifying a Modern font
      7m 50s
    2. Choosing a Modern font
      4m 0s
    3. Using Typekit to find and test web fonts
      5m 8s
  7. 26m 52s
    1. Identifying a Slab Serif font
      4m 30s
    2. Choosing a Slab Serif font
      3m 58s
    3. Deleting a font from your Typekit
      3m 1s
    4. Exploring a font with multiple weights and styles
      9m 41s
    5. Looking at how using a Slab Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      5m 42s
  8. 26m 52s
    1. Identifying "Other" Serif fonts
      5m 28s
    2. Choosing "Other" Serif fonts
      10m 12s
    3. Using a font without an italic
      7m 6s
    4. Looking at how using an "Other" Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      4m 6s
  9. 20m 34s
    1. Identifying a Transitional Sans Serif font
      4m 29s
    2. Choosing a Transitional Sans Serif font
      5m 14s
    3. Changing styling to improve the readability of text
      6m 31s
    4. Looking at how using a Transitional Sans Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      4m 20s
  10. 31m 23s
    1. Identifying a Geometric Sans Serif font
      2m 51s
    2. Choosing a Geometric Sans Serif font
      4m 33s
    3. Downloading a free font licensed for use on the web
      3m 53s
    4. Using Font Squirrel to create an @font-face kit
      5m 12s
    5. Adding the @font-face syntax to the CSS
      2m 57s
    6. Implementing the font family in the CSS
      5m 29s
    7. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      3m 56s
    8. Looking at how using a Geometric Sans Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      2m 32s
  11. 21m 3s
    1. Identifying a Humanist Sans Serif font
      4m 18s
    2. Choosing a Humanist Sans Serif font
      7m 23s
    3. Changing styling as necessary to improve the readability of the text
      5m 32s
    4. Looking at how using a Humanist Sans Serif font affects the look and feel of a web page
      3m 50s
  12. 18m 28s
    1. Understanding handwritten fonts
      3m 4s
    2. Choosing a handwritten font
      8m 17s
    3. Looking at how using a handwritten font affects the look and feel of a web page
      7m 7s
  13. 33m 2s
    1. Understanding what to look for when pairing fonts
      6m 58s
    2. Using one font for headings and another for text
      6m 6s
    3. Using different fonts for different kinds of information on the page
      8m 38s
    4. Mixing and matching fonts within text
      3m 48s
    5. Looking at how using two fonts affects the look and feel of a web page
      7m 32s
  14. 23m 34s
    1. Understanding Script fonts
      2m 19s
    2. Choosing a Script font for display use
      8m 12s
    3. Changing styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      3m 33s
    4. Choosing a second font to pair with the Script Display font
      3m 42s
    5. Incorporating a second font with the Script Display font
      2m 53s
    6. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 55s
  15. 26m 38s
    1. Understanding Wood Type fonts
      3m 25s
    2. Choosing a Wood Type font for display use
      8m 35s
    3. Changing styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      4m 57s
    4. Choosing a second font to pair with the Wood Type font
      2m 28s
    5. Incorporating a second font with the Wood Type display font
      4m 42s
    6. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 31s
  16. 14m 58s
    1. Choosing an Art Deco font for display use
      2m 45s
    2. Changing styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      3m 51s
    3. Choosing a second font to pair with the Art Deco font
      2m 37s
    4. Incorporating a second font with the Art Deco display font
      2m 57s
    5. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 48s
  17. 27m 38s
    1. Choosing a Futuristic font for display use
      5m 33s
    2. Applying the Futuristic font and changing the styling as necessary to improve the form and placement of letters on the page
      6m 40s
    3. Choosing a second font to pair with the Futuristic font
      2m 48s
    4. Incorporating a second font with the Futuristic display font
      4m 21s
    5. Setting fallback fonts
      2m 22s
    6. Looking at the set of four ads
      5m 54s
  18. 7m 29s
    1. Exploring resources and goodbye
      7m 29s

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Choosing and Using Web Fonts
6h 52m Appropriate for all Jun 27, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

This course focuses on the theories behind web fonts: what makes a good font, why different fonts look the way they do, and how fonts affect the look of a web page. Author Laura Franz covers common tasks, including downloading a font from an online source such as Typekit or Font Squirrel, implementing the font in HTML and CSS, and changing the size and line-height to improve the readability of text. The course also covers different periods of type design and explores the history behind handwritten fonts, text fonts (used for large amounts of text), and display fonts (used for headlines).

Topics include:
  • Explaining the history of text fonts, from Old Style, Transitional, and Modern to Slab Serif and Sans Serif
  • Understanding font classifications
  • Setting up a Typekit account
  • Choosing a quality font based on forms, spacing, and weights and styles
  • Accessing fonts from various sources
  • Implementing fonts with the @font-face syntax
  • Looking at how fonts affect the look and feel of a web page
  • Changing font styling to improve readability
  • Making various font weights and styles work correctly across multiple browsers
  • Pairing fonts (headline and text, two fonts in text, and so on)
  • Setting fallback fonts
Subjects:
Design Typography Web Web Design Web Fonts
Author:
Laura Franz

Changing styling to improve the readability of text

Now that we've picked Nimbus Sans as our transitional sans serif font, let's use it in our site. This time we'll open up the Arial default site in your text editor, and let's save it as nimbus_sans_tk_site. And again, you can keep it in the original folder since we will not be rewriting anything, and let's view it in the browser, and it's in Arial, and we need to get Nimbus Sans from Typekit.

So go to Typekit, make sure you're logged in, and launch your Kit Editor. We'll need to delete one of our fonts; I'll delete PT Serif, and then we can add Nimbus Sans to our kit. We'll need the Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic, and we've been using Light for our main heading, so let's grab that as well. Our Kit Size is still fine. We can publish our changes.

And while we're here, let's grab our embed code, and copy that, and paste it in the head of your HTML document, and then save that, and I want to go back to Typekit for a moment. We're using five weights and styles, which means we're going to have to use, under Weights and Styles here, the variation-specific font-family names. We can copy this from the Regular, and go back into our HTML file, we'll go to the CSS portion, and add that with a comma for universal selector.

So now we have the normal style, 400 weight, Nimbus Sans and our universal selector. Change that to 400. Now take a moment to add the variation-specific font-family names throughout the document. If you need a refresher, I covered this in the chapter on Venetian fonts. When you're done, meet me back here. Okay, so your variation-specific font-family names should be in your document, and I'd like to scroll down and just do one thing here. I'd like to show you the strong.

The strong is what we've been using to make the sentence about the Bay Road businesses either bold, or bold and italic. I'd like you to make sure that you've set it using the nimbus-sans-i7, and a font-weight 700, and a font-style italic, so that it will be bold italic. Once you've done that, make sure it's saved, and let's put it on your server. Then we can go to the browser. I can use a tab here, and let's view it on our browsers off of our servers.

And we can see now that it's set in Nimbus Sans. We have the light for the h1 and the h3, we're using the bold for the h4s, and the regular for the text. Everything looks a little bit too small. That's not surprising, because Nimbus Sans has a small x-height compared to Arial, which was the original default font for this site. Because it does have a quite loose letter spacing, the only thing that feels like it really fits is the footer.

So if we increase the size on the font and on the type, we're going to have to make sure that the footer doesn't get any bigger. So let's go back into our text editor, and we're going to make a couple of changes here. Let's change the universal selector to 16. We're going to keep the line-height the same, because it looked quite generous; I don't think we need to make it any bigger. And let's make our h1, let's make that 33 on 35, and welcome, we'll make that 15.

The h2, let's make that 18 on 18. The h3, let's make that 25 on 25. The h4, let's make that a 17 on 17. As for the quote, let's go ahead and make that a 17, because we just made the text a 16; we like to keep this a little bit bigger than the text, and let's go ahead and keep it on 22.

Actually, let's go ahead and make it on 23, because we don't want it to be too tight. Let's set the acronym to 14 down here. And we want to make sure that the footer doesn't get any bigger, so let's make sure we put in a specific font size for our footer. We'll keep that at the 15 pixels. Now let's go ahead and save this, and we'll have to reupload it to our servers, and then let's take a look, and refresh, and that looks good. It looks pretty good, and I want to check, and good; our footer is still working.

Now there are two things that I'm not crazy about on this page. One is I'm not crazy about the bold italic that I had you set for the Bay Road businesses. I think that between the bold and that oblique, which is like a false italic on the word businesses, the e's are starting to fill in a little bit. So I'd like to just make that a plain bold. We're going to get rid of the italic on that. And then the other thing is I'm noticing that the Date, Time, and Place feel like they're sort of floating away from each other here.

They don't fill like a cohesive unit. I think that they need to be a little bit tighter. And I'm noticing that our overall line height is quite generous, so maybe what we need to do is just tighten that up, and we might be able to fix that problem. So let's go back into our text editor, and on the strong, let's go ahead and get rid of the italic. We can turn this back into an n7. And then in the universal selector, let's go ahead and make our line-height 21, and see if that'll fix that other problem we're having.

Let's reload it onto the server, and refresh, and that looks better. Bay Road businesses looks better, and so does the chunking here on this information. It feels more cohesive, like it belongs together. That's good. Let's see. Everything is looking good, and the hierarchy is working, the visual chunking of information is working; this page looks good.

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