Typography for Web Designers
Illustration by John Hersey

Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites


From:

Typography for Web Designers

with Laura Franz

Video: Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites

In this chapter we've learned a lot about shaping the typographic page. We've created a text frame, added an elegant background texture image, and thoughtfully set our links so they continue the traditional elegant theme of the page. Now it is a good time to ask, how do professional designers use traditional elements on their sites? Are any of the pages only traditional or do the sites tend to mix and match traditional and modernist elements? A List Apart has a pretty traditional layout.
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 6m 18s
    1. Welcome
      1m 9s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 57s
    3. Things to consider before starting this course
      3m 12s
  2. 41m 3s
    1. Understanding how good typography promotes reading
      2m 9s
    2. Understanding legibility
      4m 41s
    3. Understanding how fonts convey meaning
      5m 19s
    4. Choosing web-safe fonts to convey meaning
      6m 13s
    5. Using font size, case, style, letter spacing, weight, and color to convey meaning
      6m 22s
    6. Choosing web fonts to convey meaning
      6m 23s
    7. Downloading web fonts
      4m 9s
    8. Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
      5m 47s
  3. 38m 0s
    1. Choosing a web-safe font for use in text
      4m 13s
    2. Applying the web-safe font to the text and the heading
      3m 4s
    3. Setting a class for the resource titles in the text
      3m 45s
    4. Choosing a second web-safe font for the heading
      2m 42s
    5. Applying the second font to the heading
      2m 16s
    6. Choosing a web font from the Google Font API for use in text
      5m 44s
    7. Adding and applying the Google Font API syntax
      4m 29s
    8. Choosing a second web font from the Google Font API for the heading
      2m 56s
    9. Adding and applying the second font to the heading
      4m 52s
    10. Analyzing the fonts on some professional sites
      3m 59s
  4. 55m 31s
    1. Understanding how we read
      4m 34s
    2. Finding and applying a good font size and line height
      4m 50s
    3. Finding and applying a good line length
      8m 6s
    4. Understanding ems
      6m 17s
    5. Using ems to set font size
      6m 9s
    6. Using ems to set line length
      3m 40s
    7. Understanding how color affects readability
      3m 58s
    8. Improving a color palette by improving contrast
      5m 39s
    9. Improving a color palette by reducing optical vibration
      4m 59s
    10. Analyzing text readability on the professional sites
      7m 19s
  5. 1h 11m
    1. Understanding how we "chunk" visual elements
      3m 59s
    2. Developing a system of hierarchy
      2m 17s
    3. Applying hierarchy in HTML and CSS
      7m 16s
    4. Developing a system to help chunk text for readers
      6m 1s
    5. Applying the system in the CSS
      4m 19s
    6. Changing an element by creating and applying a class
      5m 0s
    7. Using multiple columns to create hierarchy
      4m 12s
    8. Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS
      10m 56s
    9. Refining the horizontal space in a two-column layout
      6m 1s
    10. Adding rule lines to improve chunking
      5m 50s
    11. Adding emphasis within a heading
      4m 36s
    12. Analyzing the chunking on the professional sites
      11m 18s
  6. 17m 57s
    1. Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
      7m 3s
    2. Understanding how to create rhythm and tension
      6m 0s
    3. Applying typography skills when making design decisions
      4m 54s
  7. 55m 47s
    1. Designing typographic links for the traditional page
      5m 54s
    2. Adding a list of links to the traditional page
      8m 44s
    3. Describing the link states in CSS
      6m 30s
    4. Returning links to their original "unvisited" style
      2m 38s
    5. Using different CSS for different kinds of links
      7m 28s
    6. Using CSS notation to organize syntax
      5m 34s
    7. Choosing a background color or image
      4m 0s
    8. Applying a repeating background image
      2m 58s
    9. Shaping the traditional page layout
      6m 38s
    10. Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites
      5m 23s
  8. 43m 0s
    1. Designing typographic links for the modernist page
      6m 47s
    2. Making a list of links run across the page
      2m 14s
    3. Adding and removing space between the navigation links
      6m 50s
    4. Styling the inline links on the modernist page
      5m 33s
    5. Choosing a background color or image for the modernist bibliography
      4m 4s
    6. Applying a no-repeat background image
      4m 13s
    7. Shaping the modernist page layout
      6m 58s
    8. Analyzing the modernist typographic elements on the professional sites
      6m 21s
  9. 52m 53s
    1. Fixing quotation marks and apostrophes
      6m 59s
    2. Fixing dashes
      6m 33s
    3. Working with lining figures (numbers) and acronyms
      9m 28s
    4. Fixing characters that don't look right
      8m 19s
    5. Hanging punctuation
      2m 54s
    6. Applying typographic accents
      2m 36s
    7. Vertically centering text
      5m 18s
    8. Creating drop caps
      5m 59s
    9. Analyzing the typographic details on the professional sites
      4m 47s
  10. 3m 9s
    1. Additional resources
      3m 9s

Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now
please wait ...
Watch the Online Video Course Typography for Web Designers
6h 25m Appropriate for all Jul 14, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Learn how to choose fonts for a web site and create beautiful, legible type. Author Laura Franz shares how to create designs that maximize readability (and keep visitors on the page) by paying attention to details in size, line-height, line length, alignment, color, vertical space, and more. Laura also demonstrates how to incorporate web fonts, style type with CSS, and pick fonts that work well together.

Topics include:
  • Understanding how good typography promotes reading
  • Choosing web-safe fonts
  • Applying web fonts in CSS with @font-face
  • Adding and applying the Google Fonts syntax
  • Finding and applying a good font size, line height, and line length
  • Improving a color palette by improving contrast and reducing optical vibration
  • Understanding how people mentally organize, or chunk, visual elements
  • Applying a system of hierarchy in HTML and CSS
  • Applying vertical spacing in CSS
  • Adding emphasis within a heading
  • Understanding classic and modernist typographic pages
  • Adding a list of links
  • Creating drop caps
  • Fixing quotation marks, apostrophes, and dashes
Subject:
Web
Software:
TextWrangler
Author:
Laura Franz

Analyzing the traditional typographic elements on the professional sites

In this chapter we've learned a lot about shaping the typographic page. We've created a text frame, added an elegant background texture image, and thoughtfully set our links so they continue the traditional elegant theme of the page. Now it is a good time to ask, how do professional designers use traditional elements on their sites? Are any of the pages only traditional or do the sites tend to mix and match traditional and modernist elements? A List Apart has a pretty traditional layout.

Although the text itself is san serif, the logo and the main links and the titles of the articles are all in serif. In addition, they create subtle emphasis by using an italic and their numbers are old style. Finally they have a text frame. When you scroll down you can see that there is a large amount of space to the left and right. I Live Typography is also traditional. While the main links, the dates and the authors are san serif, the fact that they're set as caps makes them feel more elegant.

In addition, the letter spacing here on the dates and on the authors make them feel even more traditional. The text itself is serif. The main heading is a large san serif but the designer here mixes it up a bit. If we click into an article, we can see here the main heading is a serif and he also uses a very traditional ornament. The links are subtle when we roll over them. A very light color emerges.

It's very restful, contemplative. Finally a very large white margin above where the main content starts creates a text frame on the page. We've seen both of these sites before so I want to show you a new site. Jon Tangerine's site appears at first to be very traditional. He uses multiple serif fonts throughout the site. It's quite lovely. And here let's see I want to show you that his numbers are old style here. He also uses small caps and italics.

See here he is using small caps and italics and up here again small caps and italics and here the caps are sort of large spaced out. He uses that for headings and subheadings. And his text creates a block. It's a very centered block on the page even though the text itself is not centered, the text block is. And this is even stronger when we go into one of his articles. The main column of text is justified and you are not going to see this very often on the web.

It's a truly traditional typographic decision. As I scroll down, you can also see that his quotes are placed within the main body of the text. So that he is not using either the margins outside of the text. He is not using the space in an architectural way. It really feels like this beautiful, subtle, restful text frame. I am going to scroll back up. So this site feels like it has a very traditional approach, but it's actually contemporary.

He mixes in some modernist elements as well. He uses strong rule lines to frame the text. For instance this very thick rule line up here creates spans of space. And the multiple rule lines here separating the list on the right really emphasizes that area. It draws our eye to it. And then finally on the left here, the decision to place the headline here right aligned with a solid rule beneath it. Well, in a truly traditional site we'd expect the headline to be above the article in the text frame.

But here he has practically cantilevered the title off the image. He is creating a moment of tension and architectural space. It breaks the even, restful tone of the rest of the page. His links also break from the subtle elegant restful tone of the traditional page. Let's see here if I get-- there is one. When you roll over a link they turn this bright tangerine orange, which is a really fun reference to the name of the site. So as you can see from analyzing the professional sites, traditional and modernist typographic elements can be mixed and matched by today's typographer.

The traditional ideals of creating a lovely page for quiet contemplation and the modernist ideals of creating a simple clean layout intended to direct the reader to the most important information on the page, well, they don't have to be completely separated. There are benefits to both and both ideals conserve your readers. Again, when you see a web site with good typography, feel free to analyze their design. How have they laid out the page? Have they created rhythm and tension with a focal point, a strong vertical line, and have they paid attention to the margins and the padding in other white spaces? Don't hesitate to learn from other people's good type decisions.

It will only help you make good type decisions too.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Typography for Web Designers .


Expand all | Collapse all
please wait ...
Q: Where can I learn more about graphic design?
A: Discover more about this topic by visiting graphic design on lynda.com.
 
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Typography for Web Designers.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.