Typography for web
There are many books and articles on typography, but only some of them reveal the choice and combination of fonts. Due to the emerging opportunities and prospects for free use of many fonts on the Internet, designers will have to master another important skill – the ability to choose the appropriate fonts that complement the layout designs they develop. You can also study popular typography trends or ready-made beautiful examples from other professionals.
Until now, the use of fonts other than those installed with the operating system has meant using images, flash or other workarounds. However, the creators of browsers gave map designers a hand by introducing the @ font-face CSS property, which allows you to register a link to any font file, as a result of which it will be used on the pages of the site.
Immediately there was a problem with companies, developers and distributors of fonts: most of them refused to issue licenses to use their raw-fonts on web pages, for fear of piracy. The introduction of the @ font-face feature has heightened such concerns, forcing both sides to look for solutions that are satisfactory to everyone. Some of them are already available, some are still under development. These include extended end-user license agreements for fonts, as well as third-party services that provide embedded fonts, such as Typekit, Typotheque and Kernest. Web designers are more free to choose fonts, and font companies and developers get paid for their work. Problem solved? I guess, yes.
COMPLETELY NEW WORLD
We are spoiled. Until now, the use of any font on a web page has been legal. Moreover, all the subtleties of the fonts that had to be used were known. Many of the fonts that will soon be available for use, are not intended for the screen because of their difficult perception or obvious unreadable.
The technical difficulties of using fonts on the Internet are also aggravated. These may include unequal display in different browsers and platforms, as well as problems in processing a font file or even a font family. Page sizes can easily go up to 100k and up. However, let’s imagine for a moment that these problems will be solved soon and focus on what we are going to do.
There is a serious possibility that, by gaining access to world font libraries, we will open a Pandora’s box. Many people working in the Internet today have some knowledge of typography, however, most designers may be puzzled by new features.
CONTEXT AND VALUE
The webdesign profession will soon require a deeper understanding of typography and the use of fonts. As this trend develops, opportunities may first be limited, but further the choice will steadily increase. And, as you know, great opportunities lead to great responsibility. If you can use a font that looks like a battered leg, this does not mean that it should be done.
Widely used system fonts, for example, Georgia, Verdana and Arial, are so omnipresent that they are no longer associated with anything other than the “web”. Being unable to achieve the desired aesthetic effect due to the meager selection of fonts, we had time to focus on readability. Largely because of this, the work for the web was based on the principle of “make and forget”, partly due to the rapid development of printing, and also due to the fact that web design does not have such precise typography rules as in the design of printed products. Do not follow the rules – a great luxury, but sometimes it is quite realistic, for example when creating creative illustrations or desktop wallpaper with text or letters.
POTS OF CHOICE
Of course, sometimes using a font just because it looks interesting can produce acceptable results, but the real art of typography requires an understanding of the fonts and their meanings. Choosing a good enough font is not difficult, but choosing the right font, taking into account societal and technical aspects, can be a difficult task.
The famous type designer Zuzana Licko once said: “Everyone reads better what they read more often.” These are acquired skills. This explains why choosing the font is the typograper’s most difficult task: reading is a subjective relative action. To read a long paragraph written in a gothic font that was considered “readable” a century ago, it will take much longer than if you used a simple font from the Serif or Sans Serif family, regardless of whether we read from the page or the monitor.