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Typography

Typography is the art and technique of arranging type to make written language most appealing to learning and recognition. (source: Wikipedia)

A beautifully illustrated glossary of typographic terms you should know

Basic elements of typography are the foundation for any digital designer.

“The world of typography often seems like it has its very own language, full of serifs, strokes, and swashes. Sorting out all those terms can be confusing in itself, so we’ve compiled a visual glossary that will guide you through the lingo – whether you’re an aspiring typeface designer or just a general typography enthusiast. Learning the building blocks of typography will help you better understand how to pick a suitable font and apply it effectively within your design projects.”

(Janie Kliever ~ Canva)

People don’t read, they scan

Scanning also involves reading, but at a general level. Unless, the texts are relevant, interesting or remarkable.

“The emergence of highly content-based websites now means one thing: how to fit the content within a very well-functioned website while not sacrificing the aesthetics? In addition to that, the development of web nowadays mean viewers will be able to view these content across multiple sizes of screens. Such are the challenges of designing in these interesting times.”

(Zana Fauzi and Dahlia Ahad ~ Stampede)

Meta-design: The intersection of art, design, and computation

The only thing that is missing is connectivity as a unique trait of digital.

“In a traditional design practice, the designer works directly on a design product. Be it a logo, website, or a set of posters, the designer is the instrument to produce the final artifact. A meta-designer works to distill this instrumentation into a design system, often written in software, that can create the final artifact. Instead of drawing it manually, the designer programs the system to draw it. These systems can then be used within different contexts to generate a range of design products without much effort.”

(Rune Madsen a.k.a. @runemadsen ~ O’Reilly Radar)

How typography affects readers

Typography is the essential ingredient to design for the reading experience, abstracting knowledge from texts, titles and labels.

“Often times we find ourselves spending hours crafting articles, making sure that each word we select is the perfect one to project the story we are trying to paint. But there is another factor, often overlooked, that is just as important as writing great content: Typography. Let’s delve a little into the world of typography and see how it affects readers. If you are someone who despite getting traffic and producing quality content, just can’t seem to get your readers to stay, you will want to read this till the end.”

(Ankit Oberoi a.k.a. @oberoiankit ~ adpushup)

Does typography affect UX?

Typical case of a rhetorical question. ‘Look-and-feel’ as the layman’s definition of UX.

“Typography matters as much as geography. Businesses take a great deal of time to consider the implications and pitfalls of entering a new market, but they often leave major components of their UX to the arbitrary decisions of outside contractors. Everything matters in brand identity, especially the look-and-feel of the fonts that identify your company.”

(Creative market)

The woman behind Apple’s first icons

Honoring our historical roots is what makes us more mature as a relevant domain in world history. Even though is still three decades old, sort of.

“Thirty years ago, as tech titans battled for real estate in the personal computer market, an inconspicuous young artist gave the Macintosh a smile. Susan Kare was the type of kid who always loved art. As a child, she lost herself in drawings, paintings, and crafts; as a young woman, she dove into art history and had grandeur dreams of being a world-renowned fine artist.”

(Zachary Crockett a.k.a. @zzcrockett ~ Priceonomics)

Content-out layout

Old typographical systems get a second life.

“Grids serve well to divide up a predefined canvas and guide how content fits onto a page, but when designing for the web’s fluid nature, we need something more… well, responsive. Enter ratios, which architects, sculptors, and book designers have all used in their work to help set the tone for their compositions, and to scale their material from sketch to final build. We can apply a similar process on the web by focusing on the tone and shape of our content first, then working outward to design fluid, ratio-based grid systems that invite harmony between content, layout, and screen.”

(Nathan Ford ~ A List Apart)

Crafting link underlines on Medium

Even the underlining of texts is a design challenge in the digital world.

“How hard could it be to draw a horizontal line on a screen? It seems wrangling a few pixels together to stand in a file would be something computers should be pretty good at anno domini twenty-fourteen. One would think so, but simple things are rarely simple under the surface at least if they are worth anything. Typography, likewise, is a game of nuance. This is a story on how a quick evening project to fix the appearance of underlined Medium links turned into a month-long endeavour.”

(Marcin Wichary ~ Medium)

The science behind fonts (and how they make you feel)

Typography as the integral part of UX design.

“The right font choice along with the absence of sidebars and popups makes everything feel easier and better to read. Websites like Medium, Signal vs. Noise, and Zen Habits are like yoga studios for content. Their presentation of content puts me at peace while reading, allowing me to fully focus on the stories without distraction.”

(Mikael Cho a.k.a. @mikaelcho ~ The Next Web)

Responsive typography

Online typography, typefaces and fonts get mature, finally.

“With the chaos of different screen sizes and a new generation of web browsers, the design paradigms of layout and typography have shifted away from static layouts and system fonts to dynamic layouts and custom web fonts. But screens have not just changed in size but also in pixel density. In other words: maybe we do not just need responsive layouts, we might also need responsive typefaces.”

(Oliver Reichenstein a.k.a. @iA ~ Fronteers 2013)

Reusable divisions of space: Grids and modular design

If it has structure, it can be modular.

“Grids follow the same principle of modularity we’ve been considering the last few weeks. In some ways that seems obvious given the terminology modular grids. In other ways though it isn’t quite as obvious that they’re the same thing. However, when you think about how grids divide space and make it easier for us to make layout decisions, I think the modularity of grids falls right in line with the reusable modularity of components and design patterns. They separate concerns, by dividing the space into modular units. The characteristics of these modular units are reusable and through reuse help us more efficiently place information. Finally, the structure of these units in the grid leads to greater consistency in how content is organized.”

(Steven Bradley a.k.a. @vangogh ~ VanSeoDesign)

Typography and information design: Reflections and critiques (.pdf)

Typography as the essential ingredient of design for search, find, and use information.

“A stroke, a letter, a word, a sentence, a paragraph, a page, and a book: all essentially linear constructs of the typographic mind put into action. There is a typographic order of ‘things’, a logical sequence from the most simple, to the most complex. A line, a space, a rectangle, a margin—an aesthetic device for visuality. As an infinite list of signifiers, the above lists signify the qualitative/quantitative display of the visual properties of typography: the micro and the macro, the color and the density, the positives and the negatives, the visible and the invisibles; these are some of the typographic paradigms that yield communicative visualization.”

(Chun-wo Pat ~ Parsons Journal of Information Mapping)

Effects of Typography on Reader Mood and Productivity

Great typography is like the oxygen of reading.

“The lesson here is twofold. First, good typography has a clear impact on the mood of the reader. People who are reading a well typeset page are more engaged in the experience and find that time flies by faster. Second, research has shown that positive mood improves creative problem solving, and since typography can be used to influence mood, it is possible that good typography also has direct effect on our productivity, at least in the sphere of certain creative tasks. Good typographic design then is not just a way to communicate the character of your text and strengthen reader engagement, it could boost their cognitive performance, too.”

(Dmitry Fadeyev a.k.a. @dfadeyev ~ UsabilityPost)