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Looking at how using an Old Style font affects the look and feel of a web page

From: Choosing and Using Web Fonts

Video: Looking at how using an Old Style font affects the look and feel of a web page

Now that we've finished the Crimson Text site, let's take a look at how using Crimson Text, an old style font, affects the look and feel of the site. Let's compare Crimson Text to Calluna. Calluna was the Venetian font we used in the last chapter. If you just sort of relax your eyes, don't look at the detail, but look at the overall texture of the page, Crimson Text looks older, inkier, more pen-formed than Calluna. Based on the history of the two fonts, Venetian is the older, more pen-formed approach to type design.

Looking at how using an Old Style font affects the look and feel of a web page

Now that we've finished the Crimson Text site, let's take a look at how using Crimson Text, an old style font, affects the look and feel of the site. Let's compare Crimson Text to Calluna. Calluna was the Venetian font we used in the last chapter. If you just sort of relax your eyes, don't look at the detail, but look at the overall texture of the page, Crimson Text looks older, inkier, more pen-formed than Calluna. Based on the history of the two fonts, Venetian is the older, more pen-formed approach to type design.

This is sort of surprising, but remember, we chose a more contemporary approach to Venetian fonts when we chose Calluna. Yes, if we look at the main heading, we can see the rising crossbar on the E. We can see the pen-formed head serifs on the H, the L, and the D, and we can even see the angled serif under descender of the P. But Calluna also has a stylized approach to the letters. The relationship between thick and thins is relatively even. The letters are crisp, the x-height is relatively large.

On the other hand, we chose a more pen-formed old style when we chose Crimson Text. It too has the pen-formed head serifs on the L, the D, and the H. It also has a smaller x-height than Calluna and an A with a smaller closed counter, and a more pen-formed terminal and bowl. Finally, Crimson Text's thicker shoulder on the N and H help create slightly darker, more inkier looking spots in the texture of the text.

If we had chosen an older looking Venetian font, like Jenson, and a less pen-formed old style font like Caslon, we'd have a completely different visual experience looking at these pages. It's important to remember that even within a typeface classification, like Venetian and old style, there is a wide range of fonts to choose from. The other element that makes the Crimson Text page feels so old and pen-formed is the italic. Let's scroll over here and look at this italic; it has some lovely details.

Looking at the library quote, and you'll find an extra loop on the arm of the lowercase k. You'll also find a lovely terminal at the end of the F. If we look at the italic on the Calluna, we can see it also has a loop on the K, but it does not have the terminal on the end of the lowercase f. Crimson Text's italic is a little bit narrower than I like to use, but it's okay with small amounts of text in the situation, and the narrow calligraphic forms are actually what make it feel so old.

I enjoy Crimson Text; it's a pretty good font for being a free font. It offers a variety of weights and styles, it holds up fairly well cross-browser, and it has some beautiful letter forms. But I'd be remiss if I didn't point out one of its faults: it has spacing problems, which unfortunately stands out quite a bit on this site. Let's take a look at the word Welcome here at the very top of the page, the very first word we see, and the space between the W and the E is just too wide.

It begins to read as W-elcome. If we go back to the quote, we can see the same problem in the word benefit. It becomes Benef-it, and you'll remember from when we looked at this page in Internet Explorer; there were some spacing issues with the italics in the quote. This is an unfortunate problem in an otherwise very pleasing font, but you should be aware of it. You'll often find problems like these in fonts that aren't supported by a person or even a team of people that can put in the hours required to properly space and hint every letter and combinations of letters. It's a big job.

Having pointed out the spacing problems, I have to say, it's a good font that does its job quite well. If you're currently only able to use free fonts, this is a font you should keep in mind, and consider using, especially if your project does not need an italic. It has some lovely features.

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This video is part of

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Choosing and Using Web Fonts

89 video lessons · 6942 viewers

Laura Franz
Author

 
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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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