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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).
So now that we know more about Script fonts, we need to pick one to use. There are a couple of Scripts on Typekit that I'd be interested in using for this project, but none are available in the trial plan and since there are so many Script fonts to choose from, we're going to just choose a font from Google Web Fonts. I don't usually use a Web font specimen sheet when looking for a display font to use for a single headline, like we're going to do in this next project. Display fonts are fonts that are not meant to be used in text. They are designed for display purposes only so that is, they were designed to only be used in headlines.
So mostly, I just need to know if the font works for the phrase I'm going to use. So in Google Fonts we can narrow down the fonts that we're looking at. We can go over the Filters and we can turn-off everything except for Handwriting. When we do that we have 102 font-families to choose from. I usually like to sort by Alphabet, that way if I get interrupted in the middle of my search I can more quickly and easily figure out where I ended and where to start again. And here you'll notice that they give us a sentence; Grumpy wizards make toxic brew for the evil Queen and Jack, but you should always, always test your font in the phrase you're going to be using.
Now we're going to be doing a Web page ad for the library-used book sale and the headline for that ad is Reading one book is like eating one potato chip. So I've typed that in there and you can see that all of the fonts have now changed to our phrase, that's great. But we're not going to be using it this small; we're going to be using a big display font. So we can change the size, let's go up to maybe 72 and this looks to be about the right size although you'll see that quite a few of the fonts get cut off at this size.
So the ad lists some of the kinds of books they'll have for sale and one category is romance. I'm interested in finding a Script that feels traditionally romantic to use for the ad, I know it's sort of corny but I'd like to try it. It might be a nice way to subtly bring the content of a book into the ad. Through the magic of video, I was able to weight through the 102 Handwriting fonts and pick a couple to show you. I set them quickly in my HTML document using a size close to what I've thought I'd probably use in the ad.
I also set them at dark gray, not black. It softens the relationship between the heading in the background and this helps my eyes when I'm looking at so many different fonts. So first here are some nice fonts that I'd use if I was looking for a different kind of Script. Neither of these are as romantic as I'd like, but they're great fonts. This is Lobster Two which always feels sort of 1950 small-town grocery store to me, and Cookie which I wasn't familiar with before. I like it for this phrase. It's got good solid O's, good letter forms, good word spacing; even good links between letters.
The e is not linked to the k in the word like, but that's okay. It feels right, it feels like the person writing made the k then picked up their pen and made the e. But again unfortunately, it's not quite as romantic as I'd like it to be. Lover's Quarrel is more romantic, but I don't care for the way the capital R interacts with the lower case e in the word Reading. The swish touches the e and it looks like it's a mistake. Also the e is a bit too active for my taste. And it has much longer ascenders and descenders.
I think I want to cluster the words closer and I can't because the ascenders and descenders are so long. Monsieur La Doulaise is practically the epitome of an old, elegant, romantic Script, but may be I don't want something quite this old-looking. I think I want something with a bit more presence, something that can be set a little bigger in the space I've got to work with. That means I'm going to need less slant and shorter ascenders and descenders. I guess I want something a little more 20th Century at least.
At first glance this font, Great Vibrations, is exactly what I'm looking for, except the o has a lot of personality. Unfortunately I keep seeing a pair of eyes looking out of the word book and the then the word potato gets a little hard to read because of the Os and the A. So it's just not going to work with my particular words. Dynalight is not bad, but it feels a little angular, I want something more flowing. And the word spaces are a tiny bit too wide for my taste. Bilbo Swash Caps is quite nice, but not exactly what I'm looking for, I want something with more flow.
Pinyon Script is very elegant looking, I thought this would be what I was looking for but now I think it might be too cliche, too delicate, may be too boring for such a great quote. Rochester isn't elegant and cliche enough, it's too bubbly for this project. Though I like it and I would use it for another one. Dancing Script might work, it has a lot of flow, it has some slant but not too much, the connections are good. It has variations in the form, so it has a lot of energy. And I had looked at this font Euphoria with a different phrase in the past, and I have to admit, I didn't like it.
I did not like how none of the letters connect. I did not like how the d center in the g is broken. I thought it looked too unique and would emphasize that this was a digital Script, but when I set it for this phrase for this project, I think it works quite well. I enjoy how each letter feels flowing and romantic, but with a little energy. And I think the broken letters sort of work here too. And may be it's because the quote is sort of funny. It isn't so serious. So when looking at Display fonts I always try and keep an open mind because a font that didn't work for me for one project could work for another.
But you know what none of these fonts are feeling exactly right to me, and quite frankly, it's a little overwhelming. After collecting and looking at so many possible display fonts, you might need to take a break and come back to them with fresh eyes. And that's what I did, I set this project aside for a couple of hours. When I came back to it I had a better understanding of my problem. My problem is that I challenged myself to use a romantic font, but the romantic fonts don't feel strong enough. They don't have the impact I want them to have.
And a lot of the other fonts are fine, but they feel a little too casual to me. Even if they have lovely letters, loops and connections, they don't have the impact I want. So in the end, I decided to go with the Script that I liked the best with the quote, Lobster Two Italic is a strong powerful Script that helps the sentence just hit us over the head. I made sure to test it cross-browser and there is a slight problem in Internet Explorer 7 and 8. The descenders on the g get slightly cut off, the connections also get slightly longer.
This happens on a couple of the browsers. Oddly enough on Opera 11 for Mac, the connections disappear and the letters no longer connect at all. Opera seems to have the most problems with rendering Web fonts. These issues are really more annoying than anything. The overall legibility and the feeling of a heading is still good. So I'm going to go ahead and use this font. I do want to take a moment to point out something I avoid when choosing Script fonts and that's fonts that look like they've been live traced. Now Live Trace is a filter in Adobe Illustrator that lets you scan in a drawing or handwriting and you can turn it into a vector-based image.
This font looks live-traced to me. The edges aren't smooth and the thick and thin strokes don't make sense. Looking at the descender on the letter g, it looks like it was composed of shorter straight segments, instead of looking like a flowing curved line. And there's also a problem with how the e and a connect. I realize this font is trying to convey a casual look but I think the quality of line gets in the way. And when you compare it to another casual Script, you can really see what I mean. So I've chosen Lobster Two for this Script heading.
It would be one in a series of four ads and usually I pick all four display fonts at the same time to make sure I create a system that works together. But it's hard to show the process for all four fonts at once, so I'm going to do one font at a time for this course. If for any reason Lobster Two Italic doesn't work with the system, we'll revisit it later. But for now, this is the font we'll use.
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