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I’m going through Butterick’s Typography Book again, and I’m noticing a feeling that’s similar to admiring a perfect workspace, or even doing amateur astronomy.

It’s about an effort towards perfection, with keen focus on the experience of all involved. I think it’s an Apple thing as well, now that I think about it.

The typography in the book, as one might expect, is precision in print. But the way it makes me want to achieve that same level of perfection is the topic I’m speaking of.

It’s like going into The Container Store, and wanting to be organized. Or going into a bookstore and being overwhelmed by a love of stories and experiences and our short lives here.

This typography book makes me want to be a better person. That’s a bit strong, and it’s stolen from Jack Nicholson in some movie from the 90′s, but I hope you get the point.

Typography books, apartment design websites, bookstores, astronomy—these all inspire me to pursue and create beauty. And that’s a good thing.

Check out the book, if you have not yet done so. As far as I can tell it’s the definitive guide.

Every modern typographer agrees on the one-space rule. It’s one of the canonical rules of the profession, in the same way that waiters know that the salad fork goes to the left of the dinner fork and fashion designers know to put men’s shirt buttons on the right and women’s on the left.

Fascinating.

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This gets me hyped for typography. Viscerally.

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Mmmmm….typography…I wish I could do my site in Futura.

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Inspiration + Typography. Mmm. Message plus delivery. Content plus interface.

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A Typography Example

April 3rd, 2008 | Design | Typography

I wrote recently about re-evaluating the font I use here on the site, as well as some other design elements. Well let me show you what it looks like when you know what you’re doing.

font_beauty

This guy, Rod Graves, has it down. Simplicity is the key to many things, including a clean, sophisticated feeling web site. I particularly like this page that I got the image above from: http://www.rodgraves.com/profile/.

I mean just look at how clean that is. I’ve spent hours scrubbing the web for this kind of quality, and this is where I’m taking my site as I move forward with it, keeping two ideas in the forefront:

  1. Content
  2. Presentation

As either one suffers so does the other.:

Typography Check

April 1st, 2008 | Design | Typography

typography

So I’ve been doing a little work with my typography. I’ve changed my font-size and line-height to em measurements, and I’ve increased their sizes as well. How does this look? The idea is to be more readable without getting so large as to appear childish.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

CSS Joke

March 30th, 2008 | CSS | Design | Typography

Q: What did one em say to the other em?

A: Who’s your daddy?

So I’m getting ready to do some major reworking of my design. The guiding force will be the 100% Easy to Read Standard. The first bit of this I did just now by making the default font 13px instead of 12px. Let me know what you guys think.

Here’s a quote I like from the IA site:

95% of what is commonly referred to as web design is typography.

Nice. In addition to that shift I’m also going to a new color scheme and maybe even a different layout. It’s going to be major. On change I’m nearly decided on is going to a white background. Lots of ideas…

Anyway, let me know if you guys like the larger font.

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I have a new design philosophy. It’s called 100% Easy to Read. Here are the highlights:

  • Don’t tell us to adjust the font size
  • Don’t tell us busy pages look better
  • Don’t tell us scrolling is bad
  • Don’t tell us text isn’t important (95% of “web design” is typography)
  • Don’t tell us to get glasses (use a font-size that’s large enough)

Here are the 5 basic rules:

  1.  Standard font size for long texts
  2. Active white space
  3. Reader-friendly line height
  4. Clear color contrast
  5. No text in images

There are two other concepts that jumped out at me: using text as an interface, and the understanding that typography is not the art of selecting typefaces. Typography is so much more.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the presentation of my text lately. Until now it’s been about the formatting of the text within the post itself, but now I’m thinking more about the look of the entire page and site.

I’m going to be doing a lot with this in coming weeks and months. I at least have an idea of what I want; now I just need to get there. I thank the heavens for CSS.: