A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.


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Ampersands With Attitude

Ampersands have long been the character in a typeface with which typographers can indulge themselves. Sweeping curves, flirtatious finishes and bold statements – these are the things that make ampersands an exciting character to use and, better still, to design. There are, however, two problems.

Smashing (2008). Articles>Typography>Graphic Design>Fonts


The Best Faces for the Screen

It doesn't matter how many hours of video and megabytes of graphics can be stuffed onto a silver platter, typefaces still serve an essential function that can't be duplicated by other means--transmitting complex intellectual and emotional messages in a very concise and precise way.

Will-Harris, Daniel. Typofile. Design>Typography>Fonts>Emotions


A Bitmap a Day

I like bit-mapped screen fonts. In fact, I prefer old-fashioned bit-mapped screen fonts to anything that ATM, TrueType, or Speedo can throw up on the screen. If we're expected to read documents on screen, we need better type than they can offer.

Will-Harris, Daniel. Typofile (1996). Design>Typography>Fonts>Online


Character Design Standards

The purpose of the Character Design Standards is to state the general rules for character shapes in Latin based languages in digital fonts. Primarily defining the guidelines designers use for character alignments, both vertical and horizontal and how these relate to other similar characters or character groups.

Microsoft (1999). Design>Typography>Fonts>Online


Comic Fonts

Comic book writers aren’t the only ones who can use silly, wacky and irreverent fonts. You, too, can give your work a fresh and light-hearted look with one of these fine, fun fonts.

Strizver, Ilene. Upper and lowercase Magazine (2008). Articles>Typography>Fonts


A Comparison of Two Computer Fonts: Serif versus Ornate Sans Serif

Fonts are described in terms of their face, style, size and color. There are two main types, namely, serif and sans serif. Serif fonts have small appendages at the top and bottom of the letter. Serif fonts are the preferred fonts for large blocks of text, since the serifs are thought to help to distinguish each letter and thus, make it easier to read strings of characters. Sans serif fonts consist of only primary line strokes and are therefore simpler in shape, e.g. Arial and Futura. In standard typography these fonts are used primarily for short phrases, e.g. headings. This study compares reading performance between an ornate sans serif font (Gigi) and Times New Roman. The traditional measures of reading speed, comprehensibility, and subjective preference were employed.

Morrison, Sarah and Jan Noyes. Usability News (2003). Design>Typography>Fonts>Online


Distressed Typefaces

Graphic designers love the convenience of today’s computer-created type designs, but too much perfection can get boring. When your eye gets tired of all those flawless, digitally-precise letters, it’s time to explore distressed typefaces. They’re weather-beaten, inconsistent, and utterly, irresistibly human.

Strizver, Ilene. Upper and lowercase Magazine (2007). Articles>Typography>Fonts


Don't Be Afraid of Serif Fonts

As the practice of Web design ages, some common rules and "best practices" inevitably embed themselves in the craft. Among these are the processes for using specific types of semantics when coding your site, like using divs as hooks in your X/HTML for your CSS, and making your page beautiful and functional that way. Another is to ensure readability of your site by choosing a proper number of fonts (generally, no more than three or four, and for the minimalist, one or two).

Rodriguez, David. Web Page Design for Designers (2008). Design>Web Design>Typography>Fonts


Eighty Beautiful Typefaces For Professional Design

Which typefaces are “bulletproof”? What fonts can be used effectively in almost every Corporate Design? And what are the options for unique, but still incredibly beautiful typefaces? We have answers. Over the last few days we’ve browsed through dozens of type foundries, read dozens of designers’ articles about typography, analyzed font rankings and visited bookmarked font-related suggestions. So this post has ‘em all. Well, OK, at least many of them.

Friedman, Vitaly. Smashing (2007). Articles>Typography>Fonts


The Euro: From Logo to Letter

Typographically, the Euro symbol had a difficult birth. Instead of defining a currency symbol, the European Commission dictated a logo. The inclusion of the character in computer fonts is being delayed. Both copywriters and designers struggle with inadequate solutions. The five-year history of the Euro mark, or: How typeface designers and corner-store owners restore the health of a character.

Siebert, Jürgen. Font Magazine (2003). Design>Typography>Fonts


Everywhere You Look: Helvetica

As a technical communicator, I am fascinated by typography. Different typefaces can create different moods, reduce or improve readability, and affect the overall persuasiveness of a communication. Helvetica, however, seems to transcend these characteristics of type.

Opsteegh, Michael. Putting Your Best Font Forward (2009). Articles>Typography>Fonts


Examining the Legibility of Two New ClearType Fonts

This article introduces six new ClearType fonts developed by Microsoft. Legibility of two of the serif fonts, Cambria and Constantia, is compared to the traditional serif font Times New Roman. Results show that the legibility, as measured by the number of correct identifications of briefly presented characters, was highest for the new font Cambria, followed by Constantia, and then Times New Roman. Old style digits, such as 0,1, and 2, used in Constantia resulted in confusion with the letters o, l, and z. Times New Roman symbols were confused with both letters and other symbols.

Chaparro, Barbara S., A. Dawn Shaikh and Alex Chaparro. Usability News (2006). Design>Typography>Fonts>Online


The Face of Uniformity   (PDF)

Helvetica is back, bigtime. On the street, it’s in campaigns for companies as different as IBM and The Gap. At the online font retailers, it tops the sales charts. In the metaculture, Getty Images uses it to express control of the visual world. It’s quite shocking to look at the font sales charts, and realize that the serif genre has dropped off the map. But you know this already, because whenever you try a serif font in a layout it doesn’t look right — too oldfashioned. But perhaps that’s the wrong term, because the sans faces ruling the roost today are anything but contemporary, mostly dating from the mid-20th century, many from a lot earlier.

Shinn, Nick. ShinnType (2003). Design>Typography>Fonts


The Font Snob

Their logo is COPPERPLATE. We can't shop here.

PVP Online (2009). Humor>Typography>Fonts


The @Font-Face Rule And Useful Web Font Tricks

The possibility of embedding any font you like into websites via @font-face is an additional stylistic device which promises to abolish the monotony of the usual system fonts. It surely would be all too easy if there was only one Web font format out there. Instead, there’s quite a variety, as you will get to know in this article.

Hermann, Ralf. Smashing (2011). Articles>Web Design>Typography>Fonts


Fonts Can Make or Break PDFs

Acrobat's intelligent font substitution is a godsend for office documents, but it can be a nightmare in situations where font fidelity is important. If you're a graphic designer, then you need to know how to work with fonts in PDFs.

Perets, Shlomo. Creative Pro (2004). Design>Typography>Fonts>Adobe Acrobat


Fonts on the Web

One of the original ideas behind the Web is that readers should have control over how things look, since only they know what color combinations, point sizes, and so on they find easiest to read on their particular combination of hardware and software. That said, there's a difference between designing for the World Wide Web, where your documents can be read by anyone, and designing for an intranet, an internal network that's accessible only to people within your organization. On an intranet, you can (theoretically) know exactly what hardware and software your readers are using, so you can control the look to a much greater extent.

Ivey, Keith C. Editorial Eye, The (1997). Design>Typography>Fonts>Web Design


Glyph Palettes

Sometimes a simple idea can make a big difference in your work. One recent improvement to major design applications is the addition of glyph palettes. This handy feature will help you find and use the exact character you’re looking for – even if your font has thousands to choose from!

Strizver, Ilene. Upper and lowercase Magazine (2007). Articles>Typography>Fonts>Software


Help, I’m Lost in a Sea of Typefaces! (Part 1)

Decisions, decisions, decisions! One of the most challenging aspects of any design project is choosing the typefaces. There are now more than forty thousand fonts on the market and that number is growing daily, which makes the search for the “perfect” typeface only slightly more daunting than looking for that proverbial needle in a haystack. With a little planning, however, you’ll find that selecting appropriate typefaces is far more manageable than it appears.

Strizver, Ilene. Upper and lowercase Magazine (2002). Design>Typography>Fonts


Helvetica: Old and Neue

The history of Helvetica includes a number of twists and turns. There are, in fact, two versions of Helvetica. The first one is the original design, which was created by Max Miedinger and released by Linotype in 1957. And secondly, in 1983, D. Stempel AG, Linotype’s daughter company, released the Neue Helvetica® design, which was a re-working of the 1957 original.

Strizver, Ilene. Upper and lowercase Magazine (2008). Design>Typography>Fonts


HTML E-Mail: Text Font Readability Study

The computer screen is a much different medium than the printed page. The resolution is much less, about 72 dots per inch (dpi) for the computer screen vs. 180 dpi or 300 dpi or even higher for printed matter. My readers clearly prefer sans serif fonts to serif fonts for body text. Therefore, in my HTML e-mail newsletters -- and on my websites -- I am moving toward 12 pt. Arial for body text, and Verdana for 10 pt. and 9 p. fonts.

Wilson, Ralph F. Web Marketing Today (2001). Articles>Web Design>Typography>Fonts


In Fonts We Trust

There is no denying that the most important thing about eLearning is solid content. But could you be inadvertently making your content harder to read and understand by using the wrong fonts? Is good font selection really important? Read on to discover the many surprising ways fonts can affect your content.

George, A.J. I Came, I Saw, I Learned (2010). Articles>Typography>Fonts>Education


Increase Your Font Stacks With Font Matrix

I have put together a matrix of (western) fonts showing which are installed with Mac and Windows operating systems, which are installed with various versions of Microsoft Office, and which are installed with Adobe Creative Suite. The idea of the matrix is that use can use it to help construct your font stack.

Rutter, Richard. Twenty-Four Ways to Impress Your Friends (2007). Articles>Web Design>Typography>Fonts


Live Font Interpolation on the Web

We all want to design great typographic experiences—while serving users on a huge array of devices. But today’s type is inflexible and doesn’t scale. We can solve this problem by making webfonts more systemized and context-aware, and live web font interpolation—the modification of a font’s design in the browser—can help us get there. Andrew Johnson points the way.

Johnson, Andrew. List Apart, A (2015). Articles>Web Design>Typography>Fonts


A New Face for Small Text

Mark van Bronkhorst's recent type family MVB Verdigris is easier on the eyes than many of the existing typefaces that are used for text at small sizes.

Berry, John D. Creative Pro (2004). Design>Typography>Fonts>Online



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