Sunday, 4 November 2012

Typo 2012 Sean McBride

What typo 2012 say:

Sean is happiest looking for opportunities at the intersection between user experience constraints and technical constraints. He is an client-side developer and designer working at Adobe on Typekit in San Francisco. He joined Typekit in July 2010, and he led the frontend development of the new font browsing interface and the Typekit/ integration. He also maintains the JavaScript that loads the fonts for billions of pageviews every month. Before Typekit, Sean worked at Google in Mountain View as a user experience designer and web developer. He built prototypes for the Google Apps control panel, in-product help, Buzz, and finally Google+. He enjoys exploring San Francisco restaurants and cocktails. What social is in interface terms? Sean will let us find out.

A Renaissance in Web typography

Web fonts are enabling incredible new design. In the last few years, we’ve seen an explosion of great work fueled by these new tools. Web fonts are improving the web by allowing a broader range of expressiveness. As designers, we can finally access the full spectrum of typographic emotion without sacrificing accessibility, maintainability, and performance. In this talk, we’ll look at examples of great work, explore the history of typography on the web, dig into @font-face and CSS, and discuss some of the unique constraints and challenges of using web fonts.
 Typekit ; Web fonts

An engineer and web developer at Typekit which is a hosted web fonts subscription service.  
Design adjust to fit screen so the canvas of the web is fluid
Gives you the ability to chose same typefaces for book, print and web.

Brief history
1993 - No web fonts
2008 18 standard fonts- Ariel, georgia, Verdanna

If need anything else had to use images or flash embedded fonts

Responsive Design - changing design with rules for  break points

After this short introduction to webfonts McBride went into the differences between typography on the web and in print. First there is the issue of licensing. Since you are actually sending the font-file to your visitors, and the old licensing models did not allow that, (re)sellers had to come up with different licensing models. Then there are different formats than the rtf & otf files we were used to. There’s woff, eot & svg. Formats that are more efficient for the web.
A big difference to print is the rendering. Since all browsers and operating systems handle rendering differently, your type is going to look different on different platforms. Each computer has to try to figure out how to display small type on low resolution screens (most screens are generally around 75 pixels per inch). This has the effect that, for example, the type looks more fuzzy on OS X’s coretext and crisper on Windows’ directwrite. It’s a problem which will hopefully someday go away when higher resolution screens become more ubiquitous.

With webfonts it’s a good idea to keep page size in mind, as each webfont adds kb’s to be sent to the visitor. And finally there’s fallback fonts to consider. You should define a stack of fonts to be used if your webfont somehow doesn’t load, and how this will affect your design.

McBride went on to cover the different rules and possibilities the web brings, which we must respond to. While we must not start with the old form and try to cram it into a new form. Instead, he mentioned an method Jonathan Hoefler talked about on Pivot: AIGA Design Conference:

WOW Hoefler has certainly been educational and opened up Typography for web
you start with an idea and through a design system you create the form. So for instance the content of a newspaper would be the idea, which would go through different design systems resulting in a newspaper and a website.

After this there was sadly not enough time left for McBride to go into detail on fluid or responsive layouts on the web. But luckily he had given us a good introduction to the possibilities of typography on the web by then.

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