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Choosing and Using Web Fonts
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Identifying "Other" Serif fonts


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Choosing and Using Web Fonts

with Laura Franz

Video: Identifying "Other" Serif fonts

Up until now, the development of fonts has been pretty straightforward. The earliest fonts reflected forms created by writing with pen and ink. Later fonts were crisper and more stylized. Finally, slab serif fonts were some of the first fonts created for marketing purposes, and were meant to catch the eye, rather than create an enjoyable reading experience. Now we're going to look at other serif fonts; fonts that don't easily fall into any of the previous categories.
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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

Identifying "Other" Serif fonts

Up until now, the development of fonts has been pretty straightforward. The earliest fonts reflected forms created by writing with pen and ink. Later fonts were crisper and more stylized. Finally, slab serif fonts were some of the first fonts created for marketing purposes, and were meant to catch the eye, rather than create an enjoyable reading experience. Now we're going to look at other serif fonts; fonts that don't easily fall into any of the previous categories.

In order to this, we're going to skip about a 150 years, and dozens of styles of font design. Some, like sans serif, wood type, and art deco fonts we'll cover later in the course. The rest, in our quest for readable fonts appropriate for extended text on the Web, we're going to let go. If you're interested in the variety of fonts designed from the mid 1800s to the late 1900s, I highly recommend A Typographic Workbook: A Primer to History, Techniques, and Artistry.

In the late 1980s, with the advent of the personal computer, font design exploded. Anyone with the right software, and some knowledge of how letters work in a system could create a typeface. Some font designers pushed against the clean, crisp typography made possible by design software, and purposely designed fonts that were damaged or defective. Some font designers pushed against historic approaches to font design, and dismantled traditional forms, slicing and dicing, and recombining letter parts.

Other font designers dedicated their time and considerable talents to bringing historic fonts, like Jensen, Caslon, and others we've seen throughout the course into the digital era. Still others embrace historic approaches to font design, but searched for ways to merge traditional approaches and letter forms. This approach was less about slicing and dicing, and more about evolving shapes and spaces. For example, this is Tisa Web Pro, a digital 21st century font.

The designer was inspired by 19th century slab serif type, and wanted to develop a softer more dynamic version. If you look closely you can see both the slab serif and humanist elements in Tisa. Tisa Web Pro has substantial serifs. They're slab like, and they remind me of the serifs we saw in Museo Slab, though Tisa serifs feel more chiseled. Tisa Web Pro has strokes that are not monoline. They have slight changes in thick and thin, but the changes are subtle making the strokes feel more uniform.

Some of Tisa's terminals look like the stroke just ends. There isn't a pen form shape involved. When the terminal does have a shape, it references the slab serif. These characteristics make Tisa Web Pro feel like a slab serif font. Yet, Tisa has a double decker g, which is an older approach to the letter g, and its closed counter on the lower case a is smaller, which is also an old style characteristic. Tisa Web Pro's aperture on the e is more generous than a slab serif's aperture, and it's bowl on the b is less structured.

It has a suggested stress. Finally, the spurs on Tisa's a and u flip up at the end. These are the subtle characteristics that make Tisa Web Pro feel more like a combination of two different historical approaches to type design. Next, let's look at Le Monde Courrier, another 21st century font. With Le Monde Courrier, the designer was challenged to create a style halfway between writing and printing. So again, we'll see a meld of structured in humanist forms. Le Monde Courrier's g is single-decker, like we see in Museo Slab.

The close counter on its a is generous, and its terminals, while feeling slightly pen-formed, do not have an extra shape at the end of the stroke. While Le Monde Courrier is not monoline, the contest between thick and thin is subtle, so the strokes feel more substantial than old style fonts. All this characteristics relate back to a later font, to the slab serif fonts, but the serifs are pen-formed, and the bold on the b has an implied stress. The spurs on the a and u flip up.

So again, here is a font with humanist old style characteristics. In fact, Le Monde Courrier goes so far as to have an italic e, though it feels almost monoline. Once again, we have a font that suddenly combines aspects of slab serif's from the mid 1800s with old style fonts from the 1600 or 1700s. And yet, if we compare the two fonts, they look quite different from each other. They have combined the slab and the old style characteristics in different ways.

While some of the serif fonts available for Web type fit within the old style, transitional, modern, and slab serif classifications, most don't. Since the 1980s, font designers have been using vector-based software, which allows them to merge old approaches, and create new forms. Knowing what kind of characteristics you're looking for will help you narrow your choices as you search for a new font to use.

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