On my personal website I currently use three web fonts from the Source Sans 3 group: regular, italic and semibold. I self-host my fonts because that’s a good practice. Additionally I use a variety of special characters to add some typographic life to the text.
When self-hosting it’s important from a performance perspective to minimise the weight of the font files your visitors must download. To achieve this I subset my fonts so as to include only the characters my pages use but no more. Here’s how I do it.
Last time I tried Source Code Pro as my monospaced typeface for code examples in blog posts, it didn’t work out. When viewed in Firefox it would only render in black meaning that I couldn’t display it in white on black for blocks of code. This led to me conceding defeat and using something simpler.
Here’s a nice demo page for Source Serif 4 which illustrates its versatility.
Source Serif is an open-source typeface for setting text in many sizes, weights, and languages. The design of Source Serif represents a contemporary interpretation of the transitional typefaces of Pierre-Simon Fournier. Additionally, Source Serif has been conceived as a friendly companion to Paul D. Hunt’s Source Sans.
At the time of writing, my personal website uses the typeface Source Sans Pro and has done for around two years. I already employ a number of its cool features however this lovely demo page provides further inspiration.
Source Sans Pro is a versatile typeface designed particularly for user interfaces. Its letterforms are slightly condensed allowing them to fit into tight spaces within a UI, and remain well-defined even at small sizes.
Braille Institute launch a new, free typeface promising greater legibility and readability for low vision readers.
What makes it different from traditional typography design is that it focuses on letterform distinction to increase character recognition, ultimately improving readability.
Jakarta Sans is a nice-looking Open Source (so free to use) typeface which I reckon I could use at some point.
Here’s a beautiful, magazine style website design for digital publication Bustle. The typography, use of whitespace, responsive layout, menu pattern, colour palette and imagery are all on point!
A font pairing app that helps you match fonts – useful for pairing a webfont with a suitable fallback. You can place the fonts on top of each other, side by side, or in the same line. You can adjust your fallback font’s size and position to get a great match.
If you’re using a web font, you're bound to see a flash of unstyled text (or FOUC), between the initial render of your websafe font and the webfont that you’ve chosen. This usually results in a jarring shift in layout, due to sizing discrepancies between the two fonts. To minimize this discrepancy, you can try to match the fallback font and the intended webfont’s x-heights and widths. This tool helps you do exactly that.
Here’s Rob Weychert advocating a combination of CSS custom properties,
calc() and Sass to automate the construction of a flexible typographic scale in CSS.
When people zoom a page, it is typically because they want the text to be bigger. When we anchor the text to the viewport size, even with a (fractional) multiplier, we can take away their ability to do that. It can be as much a barrier as disabling zoom. If a user cannot get the text to 200% of the original size, you may also be looking at a WCAG 1.4.4 Resize text (AA) problem.
Although FS Split started out as a project to create a fresh, modern new sans, it has developed into a broad type family that can bring so much variety to everything from magazines and packaging to websites and branding. The conflicting yet harmonising nature of sans and serif should give designers the tools they need to be both bold and subtle, eclectic and ordinary, contemporary and classic.
These days, whenever I’m about to use a web font on a new site I generally find myself running a google search for the latest “definitive
@font-face syntax” that covers all modern browser/device needs.
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