New Feature: Playlist Center! Pick a topic and let our playlists guide the way—like a learning mixtape.

Start learning with our library of video tutorials taught by experts. Get started

Choosing and Using Web Fonts
Illustration by

Choosing a Humanist Sans Serif font


From:

Choosing and Using Web Fonts

with Laura Franz

Video: Choosing a Humanist Sans Serif font

So now that we know what a Humanist Sans Serif font looks like, we need to choose one to use. The first we'll look at is PT Sans, a Humanist Sans that I've used before and really enjoy. It's available from Google Web Fonts, it's in the Trial Plan on Typekit and it's also approved for font linking via @font-face. PT Sans is a workhorse Humanist Sans. It holds up beautifully at small sizes and has good forms so it looks good big too.
Expand all | Collapse all
  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

Watch this entire course now—plus get access to every course in the library. Each course includes high-quality videos taught by expert instructors.

Become a member
please wait ...
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

Choosing a Humanist Sans Serif font

So now that we know what a Humanist Sans Serif font looks like, we need to choose one to use. The first we'll look at is PT Sans, a Humanist Sans that I've used before and really enjoy. It's available from Google Web Fonts, it's in the Trial Plan on Typekit and it's also approved for font linking via @font-face. PT Sans is a workhorse Humanist Sans. It holds up beautifully at small sizes and has good forms so it looks good big too.

It also works cross-browser. I particularly like its lowercase a. It has a traditional old-style structure to it with the small closed counter form. I also love the italic for this font. Let's scroll down and look at some more italic here. It's a bit narrower than the text, which is expected. Humanist Italics are narrower than text but the PT Sans Italic is not too narrow and I love the f, it has the extension of the stem and a little extra swoosh at the end, it feels like it's more expressive than most italic fs.

I think it's lovely. The bold is perhaps a bit bolder than I usually like but it's within range for legibility and readability. If there are two things that I wish this font could give me that it doesn't are I wish that the quotation marks were maybe just a little bit bigger, they feel little small and dark compared to this text. And I wish it had more weights and styles. It has the usual four weights and styles; Regular, Italic, Bold and Bold Italic, and in most cases that is enough.

Like I said, I use and enjoy this font. I highly recommend it. The next font we're going to look at is another favorite of mine, it's Ubuntu. Ubuntu is available at Google Web Fonts and has eight weights and styles. It has a 300, 400, 500 and 800 weight, so this bold is coming in pretty heavy but I think that's because it's in 800. If we wanted it a little lighter we could always use a 500 and use a semi-bold instead. I haven't actually used Ubuntu and that's because the u and n have a very specific shape.

If we look here at this n compared to Verdana, you can see that Verdana has a little bit of stem going up above the shoulder; and on Ubuntu it comes to a point. This gives Ubuntu a very specific texture when used for text. It has a Humanist feeling but it's also a bit futuristic as well. So I've never had the opportunity to use this font for any of the projects I've worked on, but I'm looking forward to using it someday. It holds up beautifully cross-browser, it has a good italic, it looks good both small and large, and it also has multiple weights.

The next font we're going to look at is Font Font's Meta Web Pro. Meta Web Pro is a bit narrower and has looser letter spacing than either Ubuntu or PT Sans. Its narrow bowl makes it feel a bit more vertical in text. It has a slightly smaller x-height as well so it needs to be set slightly larger in text, but it's well within range. It holds up beautifully cross-browser. I haven't used it but I've seen it used and have always enjoyed it.

It has a delightful italic and a pretty good bold. It's available in the Portfolio Plan on Typekit where it has four weights and styles available. Because it's not available to everyone we won't use this font for this course. Next we have Open Sans also available for multiple sources. It's available in the Trial Plan entire on Typekit as well as on Google Web Fonts. Open Sans has 10 weights and styles. It's another workhorse font.

It has a generous x-height and slightly narrow bowls but not too narrow and it has good letter spacing. When we look at it compared to Verdana we can see that it's very similar in structure although Open Sans has the double-decker closed loop g. The bold has good contrast to the text weight but it's not too bold, and the italic is a little bit narrower than I usually prefer. There's the bold italic. Let's go down here to the regular italic, but it's absolutely within range.

It's not too narrow. We don't have difficulty reading it. So this is a great font. It holds up cross-browser and I would use it and I'd recommend it as well. This Humanist Sans Serif font is too narrow. It gets difficult to read. We start looking space within the letters because the counter forms get very narrow. So sometimes it gets hard to read each letter. But then also this font has the very loose letter spacing, such a loose letter spacing may not be a problem with the wider font but the bowls are so narrow and the letter spacing is so wide that the letters start to look like they're floating away from each other.

Another problem with working with such a narrow font is the bold italic. You can see here on the e, that the closed counter form on this bold italic e gets very small. There was a reason I originally looked at this font. I was intrigued by the double-decker g with the opened loop. I've seen this kind of g before and it can work beautifully. But I'm not sure it works here with this font because it gives a wide horizontal element to the lowercase g, while the rest of the letters feel so tall and narrow.

We can see it here in the word reading. The letters themselves are not bad. In fact, they're well-formed and work together in a system while the spacing is loose, it's consistent. I just think this font works better bigger. If we look at the heading down here, same font, set large for a heading, it's actually quite lovely. I just don't think it works well in text. It's a little too hard to read. This last font has the exact opposite problem. The bowls are too wide. If we look at the o here, large, it's almost a perfect circle, but if we look at it here in the heading, and then in the text, it feels a little bit wider.

Now this might be a hinting problem. When fonts aren't hinted properly the pixels sort of shift around at different sizes and on different browsers, and letters can have slightly different shapes. But some of the other letters are too wide and don't fit in the system either. Let's take a look at this lower case n, it's just too wide for this system. We can see it here in the text if we read the first few words of the text: For decades, critics have predicted the end, looking at the word end, the letter n looks wider than either the letter e or the letter d on either side of it.

And that creates a little space within a word and it undermines the rhythm of reading. Finally, the link on the lowercase g is too far over to the left. The g almost starts to feel like it's bending and tipping over and it also makes the g feel a little bit too complex compared to the other letters in the system. We can see that here in the word heading, that g it looks sort of small and dark, and very complex compared to the open, light, overly wide n.

So for this chapter, we're going to use the Open Sans font. It's available to everyone, it has a wide-range of styles and weights and it's just a beautiful font.

There are currently no FAQs about Choosing and Using Web Fonts.

 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.
Upgrade now


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

join now Upgrade now

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Choosing and Using Web Fonts.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Notes cannot be added for locked videos.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.