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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 Wood type fonts we need to pick one to use. There are less Wood Type inspired fonts available for online use then there are Script fonts. In order to show you more options, and a greater variety of styles, I'm going to show you some from Typekit even though we can't use most of them in this course since they're not available in the trial plan. When trying to decide what display font to use, you should always test the fonts using the words or phrase you'll be setting.
So let's start by looking at one of Typekits Wood Type fonts. We're going to search for Cowboyslang and we're going to test it using our actual phrase. We can go to Type Tester, click here to edit and our phrase is Reading one book is like eating one potato chip, and we can also take a look at this even bigger, there's a slider here.
So we can make it quite large. Now I like to make screenshots of fonts so I can compare them to each other while deciding which one to use. The interface on Google Web Fonts didn't let me see the whole phrase this big, but here you can see on Typekit it could get pretty big. So I'm just going to take a quick screenshot of this. On the Mac I'm using Shift+Command+4 and then I can go to my screenshot and I'm going to name it cowboyslang_tk_port because it's only available in the portfolio plan.
I always tried to name my screenshots with what plan they're in on Typekit. Mostly because not all of my students have the same plan that I do and that way if they come and talk to me about a font I know just from the title whether or not it's one they can use. I've reviewed dozens of Web fonts and through the magic of video here are some I would consider for this project. The Cowboyslang is a favorite for this project. Two of the kinds of books for sale are adventure and history.
This font is cliche American Old West and it has a lot of personality. It has a funky ear on the G that I would never consider for text and the thick serifs create a fun counter form shape between the letters. It's a strong slightly quirky font that I think would work well with our strong slightly quirky quote. But unfortunately, it's not available in the trial plan on Typekit. So we're going to keep looking. Another font available from Typekit is called Stud which I love for the thinner strokes, the expanded forms, and the slightly inky feeling.
Now you have to be careful when using fonts that looked like they didn't quite print right. The suggestion of ink is meant to make the font looked more tactile and hand-done, but looking at the spot on the T you can see it occurs three times in close proximity. This undermines the tactile feeling and shouts out that it's a digital font. I don't think I'd used this font only because the quote has the word potato with it and the repetition of the letter T is unfortunate here. But I would definitely consider this font for a different quote.
The Concave Tuscan replaces curved lines with a series of straight lines. I've always found this font to be a little too angular for my personal taste and there are other Tuscans I prefer. This is absolutely a personal preference and you and your client may feel differently and that's fine. Gothic Open Shaded is based on a machine cut Wood Type produced in the late 1870's. It's beautiful, but it's not what I'm looking for. DeLittle Chromatic is based on a British font produced around 1900.
Again, it's not what I'm looking for. Chunk by the league of movable type is designed to be reminiscent of Wood Type. It's definitely got a contemporary feeling to it. It's the most cleanly structured font we've looked at so far. This font is available through Typekit's Trial Plan so we could use it, but it doesn't have the feeling I'm looking for. I want something a little more cliche. Poplar Standard based on the Wood Type Poplar from the 1830s is also available through Typekit's Trial Plan.
Since most people associate Sans Serif fonts with the 1900s and later I don't think I want to use this one. Also, the counter form on the e gets really small even at large sizes. Fatboy has the feeling I'm looking for, because it has this thick blacky serifs and it's been expanded to within an inch of its life. In the 1820s they used fonts that were hyper expanded and fonts that were hyper condensed. But unfortunately, given the number of words in my headline and the relatively small amount of space to work with I don't think this is the right font.
I know I've been looking for cliche, but Rosewood makes me think of circuses and I can't see to separate that connection from the font. So I'm going to keep looking. Now Ewert is interesting. This one is from Google Web Fonts. I can tell because I made the Google Web Font screenshots a bit differently. I set them dark gray and centered. I like the cliche feeling of Ewert. It's sort of a half Tuscan and half Gothic font, which is unique.
I'm not sure of the outline though, it's complex and the words start to get busy. Even though we'd be using this font for a heading I think this font needs to be set quite big. So it might not be appropriate for this project. Holtwood One Small Caps is a possibility. It reminds me of Fatboy, but not as expanded. It could hold up in the heading. It feels big without having to be used really big. Sancreek is another Tuscan font.
Again, a bit on the complex side for my taste. I feel like it would need to be set really big to appreciate its forms. Remember, Wood Type letters were often two to three inches tall. When complex letters like these are set at one inch on the screen, I think they lose some of their individuality. They can also start to vibrate between letter and letter space. I don't think I'd pick this font for this project, but if the heading had less words and more space it could be a contender. Smokum is fun.
The thicks and thins have been reversed. It's a little hard for me to take the font seriously though maybe because the forms feel backwards. It's a fine font and the letters work in a system and the letter spacing and word spacing are great and it's readable, but I want something with more impact. Ultra is another contemporary digital font inspired by the old Wood Type. It reminds me a bit of Cowboyslang, but without the funky energy. It's definitely got more impact than Smokum and it could work.
But I think I prefer Holtwood One Small Caps. I hadn't thought about using all caps, but it makes sense giving the time period I'm trying to represent. I tried setting the Ultra in all caps to see if I would like it as much and in some ways I love it. I like the complexity on the A, I also like the thin line at the end of the tail on the R, but I'm concerned about some of the spacing. The letters with the thick foot serifs are spaced tightly making the curved letters feel disconnected.
You see how the C seems to float away from the rest of the word. Since I plan to use this font big the spacing would be prominent. Holtwood One spacing is a bit more even. So I think I'll go with it. I tested it across browser and it works well. It gets a little jogging on a couple of browsers and there is a slight change in letter spacing, but overall it's fine. When looking for a Wood Type font try keeping in mind the amount of space you have to work with.
They were designed to be used big and you can lose important details if you use them too small. Holtwood One is a fairly simple font. So it will be okay even if we need to set it less than 150 pixels.
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