3 May 2011 9 am eastern

More Meaningful Typography

TIM BROWN in A LIST APART: A MODULAR SCALE is a sequence of numbers that relate to one another in a meaningful way. Using the golden ratio, for example, we can produce values for a modular scale by multiplying by 1.618 to arrive at the next highest number, or dividing by 1.618 to arrive at the next number down.

By using culturally relevant, historically pleasing ratios to create modular scales and basing the measurements in our compositions on values from those scales, we can achieve a visual harmony not found in layouts that use arbitrary, conventional, or easily divisible numbers.

Read More Meaningful Typography at A List Apart, for people who make websites.

Filed under: A List Apart, Design, Layout

4 Responses to “More Meaningful Typography”

  1. Tim Brown said on

    Thank you, Jeffrey. I have been thinking about this idea for as long as I’ve made websites, which is to say since I picked up your book (TYTTTW) and started reading A List Apart back in 2002.

    If More Meaningful Typography is a good read, it’s because Mandy Brown and the other talented folks behind ALA challenged me to produce my best work. And if my ideas make any difference it’s because they were incubated in this community you have fostered.

    I can’t explain how happy I am to have contributed this particular idea to A List Apart. Thank you for the opportunity.

  2. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Lovin’ you right back, sir!

  3. Justin said on

    Any thought to the loose leading used on your headlines, especially headlines of two lines where the second line only containing a widow?

  4. Jeffrey Zeldman said on

    Any thought to the loose leading used on your headlines, especially headlines of two lines where the second line only containing a widow?

    Under normal writing circumstances, I take great care to avoid widows. But when blogging during a conference, I am posting and tweeting quickly, and don’t worry about the occasional widow.

    As for the line-height on my headlines, it typically works quite well on longer headlines with header illustrations. For example, see this recent entry, which is typical of my general approach to posts on this site.

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