with Sean Gaffney and Matthew Smith
Monday, March 22, 2010 1
Sean Gaffney seangaffney.cc
Freelancing Developer working with
designers and agencies to make sure
details get communicated clearly
through technology on the web.
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Matthew Smith squaredeye.com
Principal at Squared Eye
Creative Director & Designer
Squared Eye is focused on detailed
design that springs from a rich
understanding of our client’s business
goals and the communication strategies
needed to make them happen.
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Web Typography & CSS3
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What is it?
• Simple technique for allowing designers to use their own
fonts for display on the web, eliminating the constrictions
that currently exist.
• Introduced in CSS2, removed from the spec in CSS2.1,
reintroduced in CSS3
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• More variety in fonts on the web! Yeehaw!
• Better adherence to style guidelines and branding
emphasis for groups that use typography as a major part
of their branding.
• Dynamic, selectable, printable text
• Implementation is simple (compared to sIFR, Image
Replacement, and Cufón)
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• Easy to Abuse. Huge font libraries don’t make good
designs, good designers make good designs.
• End User License Agreements (EULAs) can be a difficult
hurdle for commercial fonts.
• Flash of Unstyled Text (FOUT)
• Rendering Issues on Microsoft Windows and Internet
Explorer due to font-aliasing techniques.
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• Access to more fonts increases the need for us all to learn
typography, and web typography.
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• Great web typography is possible with the old guard of core fonts.
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• Type Design is incredibly complicated and difficult. It is
worth paying for a great typeface or font.
• The EULA from some foundries allows for embedding
• The EULA from other foundries “technically” does not
allow for even sIFR embedding.
• The file referenced when using @font-face is easily found
on the server. If its free, no big deal. If it’s commercial then
you’re breaking your EULA.
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What’s changing in the marketplace?
• Businesses like TypeKit, FontDeck, and Typotheque have
created obfuscation techniques and relationships with
foundries to bring commercial fonts to the web.
• Sites like Font Squirrel are popping up to showcase the
best of the free fonts for use with @font-face.
• More businesses like Fontspring will arise to help strong
small and middle range type designers and foundries
provide web designers with great fonts, with flexible
licenses at competitive prices.
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What’s changing in the technology?
• There are currently a host of type formats for the web
including TrueType, OpenType, EOT, SVG, and WOFF.
• WOFF (Web Open Font Format) is a new web font format
developed by Mozilla in concert with Type Supply,
LettError, and other organizations.
• WOFF is a flexible format which allows for better font-
hinting and metadata attached to the font for different
systems, languages, browsers, etc.
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What’s changing in the technology?
• WOFF is a web only format, unable to be used on the
desktop, and is therefore more appealing to the font
foundries as a viable format for commercial fonts.
• WOFF compresses the font data so that its less likely to
cause FOUT (Flash Of Unstyled Text) while web files are
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• Commercial Font-serving Sites:
Typekit, Fontdeck, Typotheque, Webtype, Kernest
• Free (Font Squirrel)
• Mixed Use (Fontspring)
• Roll Your Own Obfuscation
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• Do not place SCRIPT tags above @font-face declaration (IE
will not display page content until the font file is loaded)
• Gzipping fonts can result in up to 70% savings in filesize
(all formats except WOFF, which has built-in compression)
• Set far-future expires headers for font files
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• Apple and Microsoft have different philosophies regarding
the way text should be rendered on the screen.
• Fonts rendered by OS X should all appear very smooth.
• Fonts rendered by Windows will vary based on the hinting
of the type and the rendering engine being used (none vs.
ClearType vs. DirectWrite). TrueType fonts appear
smoother. FontFont branded fonts also have better hinting
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• Internet Explorer without ClearType
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• Font as Service
Typekit : http://typekit.com
FontDeck : http://fontdeck.com (coming soon)
FontSpring : http://fontspring.com
Typotheque : http://typotheque.com
Webtype : http://webtype.com (coming soon)
Kernest : http://kernest.com
• Free @font-face sites
FontSquirrel : http://fontsquirrel.com
League of Moveable Type : http://www.theleagueofmoveabletype.com/
• @font-face generators
FontSquirrel : http://www.fontsquirrel.com/fontface/generator
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• How to Use @font-face
• GZIP your @font-face files
• Font Hinting and Anti-Aliasing
• Recommended Reading
Lots of @font-face info, including a list of @font-face-ready fonts
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What is it?
• text-shadow is a simple technique of adding a dropshadow
or highlight to text in the web page.
• It can be used to create a lighting effect or a to create
dimension through use of multiple text-shadows.
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• Text-shadows can be used to create great looking text
effects to enhance the style of your typography.
• In some cases text-shadow can increase the legibility of
text by increasing the contrast of the type against the
• If your design requires a letter-press feel, you can easily
achieve this effect using text-shadow.
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• Not supported in Internet Explorer (scheduled for support
in IE9 with many other CSS3 features).
• If abused, can make text less legible.
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• text-shadow, like other type treatments for the web is
easily abused. Be gentle and subtle, don’t overdue it.
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• Increasing readability
Rogie King works out a nice
text-shadow hack to increase
readability of text in Safari for
light colored text on dark
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• Firefox 3.1+
• Safari 3+ (4+ has multiple text-shadow support)
• Chrome 2+
• Opera 9.5+
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CSS Text-Shadow http://sxsw.beercamp.com
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CSS Text-Shadow http://timvandamme.com
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CSS Text-Shadow http://analog.coop
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CSS Text-Shadow http://blog.squarespace.com
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What is it?
• The CSS multi-column module offers a method of allowing
long chunks of text to wrap to multiple columns in a
manner that formerly required server side scripting.
• This technique is widely popular in editorial design of
magazines and newspapers, but is rarely used on the web.
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• Large chunks of text can now be displayed in a shorter
vertical space and also sport properly sized column widths
that support better readability.
• Stylistically this effect can add nuance and typographical
care to a detailed design.
• This approach is far more semantic than other methods
that required additional markup to achieve similar ends.
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• Easy to abuse. The web is not static editorial design
platform. With a confined viewing port, designers will
make usability and readability mistakes with this technique
that can make a web experience extremely poor.
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• Wide columns of text are difficult to read because the
viewing distance from the end of one line to the beginning
of the next.
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• Multi-Column text helps the user read faster facilitating
Make sure the distance
from the top of the
column to the bottom
of the column is tight
enough for easy
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