Category: Typography

Interesting examples of sitemaps

I’ve been doing quite a lot of site map­ping recent­ly, and look­ing for a way to escape the stan­dard boxy top-down view. In search­ing for exam­ples of dif­fer­ent ways to present the infor­ma­tion, that are pleas­ing to look at but still imme­di­ate­ly con­vey mean­ing, I found a num­ber of inter­est­ing examples.

Below are the pick of the results, along with a few that don’t quite work, and some old stand­bys. I want­ed to include images to illus­trate this, but in most cas­es the license did­n’t allow.

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An alternative suggestion for web fonts licensing

Fol­low­ing the recent push by Microsoft and Ascen­der to revive the EOT for­mat for web fonts, debate has raged over the pros and cons of the two main alter­na­tives: embed­ding and link­ing. Richard Rut­ter came up with the idea to license fonts on a month­ly pay­ment basis, with the font being served from the sup­pli­er’s serv­er (or a trust­ed alternative).

I think there are a num­ber of poten­tial prob­lems of prac­ti­cal­i­ty with that approach, many of which have been raised in the com­ments. As a con­tri­bu­tion to the debate, I would like to offer the fol­low­ing suggestion:

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EOT as a new standard: too late?

Microsoft are try­ing to get peo­ple inter­est­ed in the old EOT embed­ded font for­mat by sub­mit­ting it to the W3C as an open stan­dard. Font foundry Ascen­der Cor­po­ra­tion are behind them. I think this would­n’t be an issue now if Microsoft had sub­mit­ted this as an open stan­dard five years ago, but that it may be too late now that their rivals are going down the route of font link­ing.

Unveiling my new theme

Any­one not read­ing this in an RSS feed will notice that I’ve installed a new theme. I was nev­er real­ly hap­py with the pre­vi­ous one, as it was based on a design that had been reject­ed from anoth­er project and was called into action before it was ready.

I’ve giv­en this one a ver­sion num­ber of 0.5, as I still have a lot I want to do with it, notably: embed­ding more micro­for­mats in the code; adding more pro­gres­sive enhance­ment to the CSS; mak­ing more use of Word­Press’ tag­ging sys­tem; and test­ing more thor­ough­ly in IE.

How­ev­er, I’m pret­ty pleased with the more typo­graph­ic direc­tion in this design, and am excit­ed to be using a theme I gen­uine­ly care about.

If any read­ers have any con­struc­tive crit­i­cism to give, please go ahead and do so in the com­ments. How­ev­er, do please be gen­tle with me!

Web typography at its best

A real­ly nice exam­ple of how a site can look stun­ning despite being built with­out the use of images and with only a sin­gle font (and Times New Roman at that!): Seed Con­fer­ence. Just amazing.

Bonus Update: Jeff Croft’s Typog­ra­phy: Beyond the Font [PDF]

Safari 3.1 introduces web fonts for all

Apple have released Safari 3.1 for Win­dows and OS X (and Lin­ux using Wine) today, and the fea­ture that real­ly stood out for me was the intro­duc­tion of web fonts. Web­site mak­ers have been bound to the same core fonts for years now, so sud­den­ly hav­ing a huge palette to choose from is going to make an enor­mous difference!

Using them is pret­ty easy. First you have to declare the fonts using the @font-face rule — and, impor­tant­ly, you have to declare each vari­ant (weight, style, etc) indi­vid­u­al­ly by link­ing to the font file involved. You can’t just link to the direc­to­ry and let the brows­er work out the vari­ants. To see what I mean, take a look at this exam­ple (using Safari 3.1, of course!) and view the source to see the CSS involved.

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I’ve updat­ed my Speak­ing page to include more con­fer­ences, more videos, and a lit­tle on my speak­ing require­ments and pref­er­ences. I’m plan­ning to cut down on the num­ber of talks I give in 2014 (twelve is too many), but am always open to inter­est­ing offers and oppor­tu­ni­ties, so please get in touch if you’re organ­is­ing an event.

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