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Typography for Web Designers
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Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS


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Typography for Web Designers

with Laura Franz

Video: Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS

In this lesson, we're going to build the two column system of hierarchy for our sans serif bibliography. This will involve defining new divs in the CSS and adding them to our layout in the HTML. You need the files biblio_sans_heirarchy. html and biblio_sans_hierarchy.css from the Exercise folder. You'll also need the biblio_sans_hierarchy.jpg. It's a mockup of the layout which we'll use to find the width of our two new divs. Open up the HTML file in the browser to see what we're working with.
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  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

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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
Subjects:
Typography Web Web Design Web Fonts Web Foundations
Software:
TextWrangler
Author:
Laura Franz

Building a two-column system in HTML and CSS

In this lesson, we're going to build the two column system of hierarchy for our sans serif bibliography. This will involve defining new divs in the CSS and adding them to our layout in the HTML. You need the files biblio_sans_heirarchy. html and biblio_sans_hierarchy.css from the Exercise folder. You'll also need the biblio_sans_hierarchy.jpg. It's a mockup of the layout which we'll use to find the width of our two new divs. Open up the HTML file in the browser to see what we're working with.

You can see most of the system of hierarchy is in place. I've moved the h1 into its own div and I've already added the new levels of hierarchy and new vertical spacing system. I used the same kind of syntax as we used with the serif version of the bibliography. This way we can focus on using the new divs to control placement of our section heads. You can see our section heads, the h2s, are not in the right place yet. We want them in a separate column. So how are we going to make this work? Let me show you.

So far we've been using a single div. We're going to use a second div, so we'll have two divs side by side. We also need to make sure the h2s in the left div line up properly with the text in the right div. So we're going to use a third div and wrap each section as needed. We're going to call these divs resource_list_container, that's the one we've already been using, section_head_container, and section_container because it'll hold the whole section. Also just a reminder, I prefer to use the word container because it helps me visualize that the divs contain their elements.

If you prefer the word wrap or wrapper, please feel free to use it. Either way, I highly recommend to use a descriptive word so when you add the div into the HTML, the name of the div will tell you something about what its purpose is on the page. Now let's open up our CSS file and get started. You can see I've added two new divs. The IDs here is section_head_ container and section_container, but I haven't described them yet and we'll do that now. So we need to ask ourselves what do we know about these containers.

Well, we know we want them all to float so they'll stay next to each other in a row, so we're going to add float:left. We know we want them to have an auto-height so they open up to hold as much text as necessary. So we'll go ahead and just make them height:auto. And since the section_container will only have floated divs in it and no content of its own, we're going to have to force the div to recognize the floated divs inside of it. Otherwise the auto-height won't work.

And we're going to do this by making sure we add an overflow:hidden. Our heights are taken care of. Now for the widths. We know what the width of the resource_list_container is. here it is its 45 em because we've been using it, but we don't know what the widths of the two new divs are yet. So let's open up that JPEG from the Exercise folder in your imaging software and find the widths of the divs. I'm in Photoshop. You can use your Ruler tool which is found under the Eyedropper tool and you can click and drag to find the width of your section_head_container.

I've already done it here. You can see at the top the width is 150 pixels. And we're using ems and we have a base font size of 10 pixels so we know that this is 15 ems. Let's go back in the CSS and add that. There's our section_head_container, width:15em. We also know that the section_ container contains these two divs. One of them is 15 em.

The other was 45 em, so this one, if we add them together, is 60 em. One last thing, we're going to add a border around our section_container because it will help us to see what's happening as we set up our layout. So we're going to do border:1px solid black. that will work for us. So the divs are described but now we need to put them where they belong in our HTML. I'm going to save this file and go to my HTML file.

Here we have the original div, the resource_list_container, but our h2 doesn't live in that container anymore. So what I'm going to do is highlight that starting tag. I'm going to cut it with either Command+X or Ctrl+X. I'm going to paste it so it's the start of the actual resource list. And then we've been using this div to hold all this content. We don't want that to happen anymore. We will go ahead and cut the end tag. I'm going to scroll all the way back up to the top.

I need to find the end of my resource list, so that's here with the h3, there's my second h3, my third h3. Right here before the next section header is where I need to end that div. So the resource lists are in their own container. I also need to put the h2 in its new container. div id= and I need that section_head_ container and I need to end that as well.

So the section head is in it all by itself. And then I need to wrap these two divs in the section_container. div id="section_container" and the section_container is going to wrap both of these divs, so I'll end it here. I'm going to go ahead and save this and review it in our browser.

And we can see that I have the section_ container and it's wrapping my section head and my resource list. We can see that the other text, it's no longer in a div so it's sort of floating outside that black box. That's okay. That's why I had to put the black box in. So when you saw this sort of wonky thing happening, you know it's okay. Let's go in and do the next section as well. I'm going to do it from the outside in this time. So we have our section container, div id ="section_container", and we're going to end the wrap at the end of the section.

And then I now need to do my section head here and that ends right at the end of my section head. And I also need to make sure my resource list is also wrapped. div id="resource_list_container" and I'm going to end it down here at the end of the resource list for this section.

And the last thing I'm going to do, because I haven't typed that one in a while because I just copied and pasted it, I'm going to go up and make sure I'd named it correctly and I did. Okay, let's save that. I'm going to go back to our browser. I'm going to reload that and I've got two of them. Great! They both worked. Now we're working on a wide monitor here, so you can see that they are coming up next to each other instead of one after the other. And that's okay. That's happening because they're floating and we're going to fix that in a minute. But first what I'd like you to do is go and put in the divs for that last section.

I think I've actually two more sections to go. Do those last two sections on your own and I'll meet you back here. Now that all the sections are wrapped, we're going to do two more things to help make our typography look better. Just double-checking here, everything is wrapped. It looks great. we're going to go into our HTML. We're going to wrap the divs up neatly in a main container. That'll help us move the text away from the left edge and it'll help them be in a column. And then we're also going to remove the borders on the section containers as well. So we'll get started in the HTML by doing a main_container.

So above our h1_container here, because we want that to be in our main container as well, do a div id="main_container". And then all the way down, scroll, scroll, scroll to the very end, right before we're ending our body tag, that's where we're going to end our main_container. So I'll save that and then we'll go into our CSS. All right! In our CSS, let's make a new ID for our div here. We'll call it main_container.

We'll use our curly brackets. We want it to have a width of 60em because we're working in ems. We want it to have a height:auto so that it will hold everything. We're also going to use another overflow:hidden, and that way we'll force it to open up and hold all of the content even though the other content is on floated divs. And let's see. We're also going to do margin. We're going to do a 0px and an auto. I know I said I wouldn't use shorthand but here I am using it.

This will give us no space top to bottom, but it will make the div stay in the center of our browser by using auto right and left margins. That's good. That's all we want for that. We're also going to go down and take that border off of our section_container. Let's delete that. We'll save and let's view this again in our browser. Hit Refresh. All right! Excellent! Let's see. Everything is flowing down in our column.

And we can see that our section head is there, our h2s are in the left column, but we can also see there's a problem. The spacing between the two divs, there's just not enough space in some of them. It's okay here, but on some of them they're not, so we're going to have to fix that. We also need to add our rule lines. We're going to take care both of those things in the next lesson.

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