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Choosing and Using Web Fonts
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Using Typekit to find and test web fonts


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Choosing and Using Web Fonts

with Laura Franz

Video: Using Typekit to find and test web fonts

We've already looked at six modern fonts, and haven't found one that meets our needs. Before we give up, I want to make one last attempt at finding a modern font, and we'll do that with Typekit. Typekit has a feature called Browse Lists up here along the top. The staff at Typekit have created these lists as a starting place, in case you're not sure what kind of font you're looking for. We're going to use it to see if they have other suggestions for a modern font.
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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

Using Typekit to find and test web fonts

We've already looked at six modern fonts, and haven't found one that meets our needs. Before we give up, I want to make one last attempt at finding a modern font, and we'll do that with Typekit. Typekit has a feature called Browse Lists up here along the top. The staff at Typekit have created these lists as a starting place, in case you're not sure what kind of font you're looking for. We're going to use it to see if they have other suggestions for a modern font.

As we scroll down, we can see they have a category here called Didones, which look decidedly modern, and we can see here also that LTC Bodoni 175 is in this category. Well, the first modern font was designed by Firmin Didot, and thus, modern fonts are sometimes referred as to Didones. So this is group of fonts that we're looking for. So let's go to that list and take a look. The first font is LTC Bodoni 175, which we've already looked at.

The second font, Ambroise STD, is a little too playful. Take a look at the top of that k there. It's beautiful, but not what we're looking for. Teimer Web, we have not used yet, and that could be a good choice. The thins are a little thicker, but it might actually help it hold up onscreen. Mittwoch is too playful, and so is Abril Display. It's a little more subtle here, but you can see on the terminal of the c and the a the playfulness of those terminals. Abril Fatface is too heavy; we don't want to use that.

And also, both of these, the Abril Display, and the Abril Fatface, have been designed for display. And what we know is that if a font was designed for display, or for use in headlines, the letter spacing is going to be a little bit tighter than we want for text, so we'll stay away from those. The last font is Kepler Std, which we've already look at. So there's one font that we can take a look at that we haven't used before, and that's the Teimer Web, so let's click through to that. We can see it's included in the Personal plan or higher, so not everyone has access to it, but at this point we don't have any other fonts to use, so let's see if this one will work for us.

Typekit offers a specimen sheet similar to the one that I use, and what you do is you make sure you choose the weight and style that you want to test. Our only options here are Light and Semi Bold; let's go with Light. We can open the expanded Web font specimen sheet, and take a look at what it would look like in text. I always find it a little bit hard to decide whether or not a font is really going to do what I want it to do when I look at it in this Web font specimen sheet, because the line height is a little bit tight for me.

That's why I take the time to use my own Web font sheets, but I can see that the letter spacing is good, and the word spacing is good, and there are no characters jumping out at me when I look at this text, so I know that it's worth looking at a little bit more closely. We'll close that up, and go back to the Teimer Web page. Before choosing whether to use a Web font, we need to know whether or not it will work cross-browser. A quickly way to do that in Typekit is to look at their browser Samples.

They have a number of screenshots that were taken on different operating systems and browsers. Now, I work on a Mac, and can test Mac screens more easily, so I always go straight for the Windows, and I click through to see how the font will look on different browsers. I'm keeping my eye on the 16 pixel type, because that's about the size we'll probably use, and I can see here in Internet Explorer 8 that the text breaks. The thin strokes break, so the e becomes two sides of the e, and the o also breaks into two different shapes; there's a left curve, and a right curve.

So unfortunately, we cannot use Teimer Web as one of one our fonts. I can keep trying, but I know I will have a problem with this font in text, so I'm not going to use it. But at least Typekit gave us another option to consider, and it gave us a quick way to look at whether the option would work for us. So we've looked at seven modern fonts, and none of them met our needs for this project. I'm not really surprised. Modern fonts require high resolution technology to show off their elegant, crisp characteristics.

We saw some beautifully designed fonts here, but just none of them worked for the screen. Modern fonts often work best in headlines; even in print. Part of being a good typographer is knowing when to try another solution. If a font doesn't work, it doesn't work, no matter how well-designed it is. Maybe we'll be able to use one of these modern fonts later in the course when we pair two fonts together. Until then, it's time to move on to the slab serifs.

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