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Using a font without an italic

From: Choosing and Using Web Fonts

Video: Using a font without an italic

We're going to use Merriweather for our site. It's available from Google Web Fonts. I'm not going to go into the details of how to get the Google Web Fonts syntax into your document. We covered that in the old style chapter. But you can open the exercise file I've created called merriweather_site.html in our text editor. You can see I've added the Google syntax, I've added Merriweather as our font family, and I've changed all the font weights appropriately.

Using a font without an italic

We're going to use Merriweather for our site. It's available from Google Web Fonts. I'm not going to go into the details of how to get the Google Web Fonts syntax into your document. We covered that in the old style chapter. But you can open the exercise file I've created called merriweather_site.html in our text editor. You can see I've added the Google syntax, I've added Merriweather as our font family, and I've changed all the font weights appropriately.

Now let's take a look at it in our browser. The size looks pretty good, and that's because I already made everything a little bit smaller. Merriweather has a bigger x-height than Georgia, so it looked quite big on the page. So the page looks pretty good now, but the italics are fake. You can see that here in the quote, and then also up here in Union. And that's because Merriweather doesn't have an italic, so we need to go in and get rid of the italics. We'll toggle over to our text editor, and we'll turn the em to font-style normal.

And on the quote, we'll just get rid of the font-style:italic altogether. Let's save that, and toggle back, and refresh, and we can see that the italics are gone. Now what we need to do, though, is re-style those words and that text, so that it has the same sort of subtle emphasis that it used to have, and I'd like to start with the quote. I want the quote to feel different. A bold would be too strong, but one of the tricks I often use is to make a type bigger, but in a lighter a color.

Then the extra size will draw the attention to the text, but then setting it in a lighter color will pull it back a little, so it doesn't stand out too much. And when you think about it, that sort of what italics do. So I think what I want to do is use a brown color. I'm interested in this brown color here in the background. I want to pick a color that works with the palette, and I think if I work with blue, it'll look too much like a link. And if I use any of the bright colors up here, like the orange, the red, or the yellow, it'll stand out too much.

So I'm going to go with the brown. So what we're we going to do is toggle over to our text editor, and then what I'd to do is open up our springfield.css file, which we haven't really looked at yet. What I'd like you to is scroll down and find the main_content_container, and here we can see that the background color is D1CAC7. We can copy that, and go back into our Merriweather site, and let's add that as our color to our quote.

We'll save this, and view it in the browser, and that looks very light. This will happen sometimes. A color that looks darker when it's a flat space can look a lot lighter when it set in text. That's because the text has a lot of whitespace in it. You can almost imagine that we've taken some white paint, and mixed it in with that color, and it's gotten even lighter. So now we need to find a darker color to use. So we're going to go to one of my favorite sites.

It's called Hues Hub, and it's part of December.com. We're going to find that color, and then pick a darker one. Now, the brown feels to me most like these sort of orangey colors, so we're going to go into that page, and then we're going to open up our find field -- on the Mac it's Command+F -- and I can paste that color right in, and it will find it for me. There's the color we've been using. Now, we need a darker color for the text. So I'm going to recommend we go as many as four steps down, and grab this color here instead: 70625C.

Let's copy that, and go back over into our text editor, and put in the new color. Let's go ahead and save that. Back over to the browser, and refresh it, and that's much better. It actually looks only a little bit darker than our background color, and it's within the same range of colors, so the palette works really well together. Now, there's one other work that I wanted to change, and that's Union. This was italic.

And it does necessarily have to be italicized or treated differently. It's not the title of a movie or a book, but I'd like to do something else with it. Another way to bring a little bit of attention to a word would be to capitalize it, which helps make it stand out, and then make it a little bit smaller, and add some letter spacing, which then pulls back some of the emphasis. So again, it has sort of a middle emphasis. So let's go back into our text editor, and on our em, let's do a text-transform to uppercase, and let's add some letter-spacing, 1 pixel.

Let's also change the font size to 13 pixels, so it's a little bit smaller than the text. Save that, back in the browser, and refresh, and that looks good. It stands out a little bit, but not too much. So it sort of has the same relationship to the text that the italic would have, and that's great. Now I do have to tell you one thing here; there are a lot of Web designers who would say you should never make the uppercase letters just a little bit smaller using the font size.

They would say that you should always use the syntax font-variant small-caps to set your small caps in Web text. I don't do this; I disagree with it. I find that using a font variant small caps does not mean you're actually using properly designed small caps. It just means that the browser is rendering the font smaller, and I personally think that those small caps are too small. Also, you should know that there are a lot of traditional typographers who would say you should never make caps just a little bit smaller; that cap should always be use to full size unless the font comes with a properly designed small caps version.

But I still do it, and here's why: I find that official, properly designed small caps are usually too small for comfortable reading on the screen. The counter forms get small. The letters lose legibility. I usually want my smaller caps to be a bit bigger than the traditional properly designed small caps. So as a Web typographer, I always look at what I'm doing, and the font I'm using, and the effect I'm trying to achieve, and then I modify the rules as needed. But everything here looks good.

Now, of course, we should always pick a font that always has the styles and weights we need, but this was a simple page, and we didn't really need the italic. It's just a nice easy way to create subtle emphasis. But using the bigger, lighter text, or smaller spaced out caps, we were also able to create subtle emphasis when needed.

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This video is part of

Image for Choosing and Using Web Fonts
Choosing and Using Web Fonts

89 video lessons · 6913 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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