12.08.2011

Type at the Crossroads



"About this videoMore than twenty years ago, Jonathan Hoefler made it his mission to promote desktop publishing (and shush its critics) by providing designers with a new generation of fonts: attractive and useful designs which set a new standard in quality and dependability for that technology. Today, as webfonts are buoyed by a wave of early-adopter enthusiasm, they’re marred by a similar unevenness in quality, and it’s not just a matter of browsers and rasterizers, or the eternal shortage of good fonts and preponderance of bad ones. There are compelling questions about what it means to be fitted to the technology, how foundries can offer designers an expressive medium (and readers a rich one), and what it means for typography to be visually, mechanically, and culturally appropriate to the web. This is an exploration of this side of web fonts, and a discussion of where the needs of designers meet the needs of readers." —AIGA

So I took notes on this video—the message is very clear, very well presented and very important. Jonathan Hoefler talks about typography and type design for the web or "screen" and then lays out disambiguation of what that means, what systems and environment entails.

The Screen is
media
     physical hardware
     device orientation
     color gamma
     video chipset
scale
     point size
     device resolution
     viewing distance
     user settings
application
     browser
     layout engine
     rasterizer
environment
     platform
     font format
     payload limit
     CSS requirements
     HTML implementation 


In conclusion, the points addressed also apply to other design systems (including print: media, scale, application & environment) but the screen is far more complex and less controlled by the designer.

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