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Typography for Web Designers

Shaping the traditional page layout


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Typography for Web Designers

with Laura Franz

Video: Shaping the traditional page layout

In this lesson we will be putting some breathing room between the text frame and the edge of the page in our traditional bibliography. You need the files biblio_serif_page. html and biblio_serif_page.css from the Exercise folder. You'll also need the fonts folder with the web font files of a Chopin Script. So put a copy of your Fonts folder into the Exercise folder. That way Chopin Script will continue to load properly.
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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

Shaping the traditional page layout

In this lesson we will be putting some breathing room between the text frame and the edge of the page in our traditional bibliography. You need the files biblio_serif_page. html and biblio_serif_page.css from the Exercise folder. You'll also need the fonts folder with the web font files of a Chopin Script. So put a copy of your Fonts folder into the Exercise folder. That way Chopin Script will continue to load properly.

Open up the HTML file in the browser to see what we're working with. The page is set up and we've got a background image. But there is not enough breathing room between the content and the edge of the page. This is a traditional page and the content should live in a text frame. We need more space between the text and the edge of the page to create the text frame. Right now the tight edges mean that the main heading, the text, and the links all look like they're sort of separate from each other.

They look like strangers at a party just standing there and not talking to each other. The text actually looks like it's trying to leave the room here. The elements don't feel like a cohesive unit. Let's change that by adding in some space between the text and the edge of the page and we'll start figuring out how much space we need. Here is a screenshot of our current page. We could go as high as 990 for the width of our page, but that's too wide. See how the page feels empty in spots? We could use a width of 960 pixels.

That's a very popular width. There is even a grid system based on 960, but it's still too wide for what our text needs. Let's try a little narrower. This page is 930 pixels wide now and it looks like it could be good, though I'd like it a little tighter on the left. I've removed some of the space on the left and our page width is now 915 pixels. It looks pretty good, but the main heading feels too close to the top.

Here I've added some space above the main heading and it feels better. It feels like the heading belongs with the content instead of with the browser edge. But now the links feel a little too close to the text. If I move them over a bit it looks pretty good. Looking at my margins of space, the vertical spaces have variety. The horizontal ones feel a bit equal on the outsides. I actually like it, but I wonder if it could be even better. I can try making only the left space a little smaller or I can try making only the right space a little smaller.

Or I can even shift everything over to the left. That is, make the left space smaller and then increase the space on the right, and this works for me. The page is well-balanced. If I look at my margins of space we have good variety and this improves the tension on the page. If I didn't go with this one, my second favorite is the more centered version. It has less tension. It's a little more subdued and classic but this totally works for an elegant page.

You know what, either version would be great. We are going to go with the version with more tension. So now that we've laid out the page let's build it in the CSS. Open up the CSS file and look for the div for the main container. Here it is our main_container ID. The width is 740 pixels, which is what we've been using ever since I added the navigation container to the page. We are going to keep it that width and add the space around our content using padding.

Padding adds space inside the border of the div which is exactly where we want it. We want to add white space inside the edge of our page. So let's add the padding. We'll do our padding-top and we are going to add 20 pixels. For our padding-right we are going to add 125 pixels. For our padding-bottom we are going to use 30 pixels and that's one-and-a-half times the measurement for the padding- top. And for our padding-left we are going to add 50 pixels.

And again, I am avoiding shorthand, but if you know how to use shorthand feel free to do it. And that should do it. Let's review this in our browser. I'll refresh. Excellent! We are going to scroll down and check the bottom margin. As I sort of guessed at that one-and-a-half times the top margin and it looks pretty good. I find that a bottom margin of one-and-a -half times the top margin is a really good place to start. Sometimes I do need to make it a little looser or a little tighter but it works well here. If I scroll up again, the only difference or the only problem we are still having is that the main navigation is still a little bit too close to our text.

So let's go in and add a little space there. We'll do that again in our CSS. In the CSS let's go down and find our unordered list. There it is, and we are going to add a margin right of 10 pixels. I didn't add the space to the div itself because that would have made my nav container need to change size. And whenever possible I like to control the text by styling the text-related element, not the div.

That helps keep our divs in the right places at the right size. So let's save this and review it in our browser. And that moved the navigation links over slightly and it looks great. We are finished with the traditional bibliography. We'll come back later in the course to finish up details like punctuation, but for now for the most part it's done. In this lesson we carefully shaped the page to our text. When we added the padding around the text, we added to the overall width of the page.

We ended up with a page width of 915 pixels. that's the sum of the width of the main container, the padding-left, and the padding-right. Our page is a little narrower than the average web page but it's a perfect fit for our text. There is no rule that says a web site has to use the whole 960 or 990 pixels. It looks great.

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