Model Site

Blissfully Aware site redesign.

Web designer Joshua Lane, currently best know for doing fancy web stuff at Virb.com, has overhauled his personal site in ways that are aesthetically pleasing and visually instructive.

Like all good site redesigns, this one starts with the content. Whereas the recent zeldman.com redesign emphasizes blog posts (because I write a lot and that’s what people come here for), Lane’s redesign appropriately takes exactly the opposite approach:

There is a much smaller focus on blog posts (since I don’t write often), and a much larger focus on the things I do elsewhere (Twitter, Flickr, Last.fm etc). Individually, I don’t contribute a great deal to each of those services. But collectively, I feel like it’s a good amount of content to showcase (as seen on the home page). And something that feels like a really good representation of “me.”

Not one to ignore the power of web fonts, Lane makes judicious use of Goudy Bookletter 1911 from The League of Movable Type, an open-source type site founded by Caroline and Micah, featuring only “well-made, free & open-source, @font-face ready fonts.” (Read their Manifesto here.)

The great Barry Schwartz based his Goudy Bookletter 1911 on Frederic Goudy’s Kennerley Oldstyle, a font Schwartz admires because it “fits together tightly and evenly with almost no kerning.” Lane inserts Schwartz’s open-source gem via simple, standards-compliant CSS @font-face. Because of its size, it avoids the secret shame of web fonts, looking great in Mac and Windows.

But considered type is far from the redesigned site’s only nicety. Among its additional pleasures are elegant visual balance, judicious use of an underlying horizontal grid, and controlled tension between predictability and variation, ornament and minimalism. Restraint of color palette makes photos, portfolio pieces, and other featured elements pop. And smart CSS3 coding allows the designer to play with color variations whenever he wishes: “the entire color scheme can be changed by replacing a single background color thanks to transparent pngs and rgba text and borders.”

In short, what Lane has wrought is the very model of a modern personal site: solid design that supports content, backed by strategic use of web standards.


New Franklin in Town

TeeFranklin by Tomi Haaparanta.

There’s a new Franklin in town. It’s TeeFranklin, designed by Tomi Haaparanta for T26. Haaparanta specializes in what we used to call grunge fonts, but you’d never know from his Franklin, which is classic and pure. In terms of available weights and styles (not to mention fanatical attention to detail), Haaparanta’s new font can’t compare to Font Bureau’s ITC Franklin, but TeeFranklin is a nice and clean, and comes in 14 weights, which may be enough. Better still, according to reader Ethan Dunham, it is licensed for @font-face embedding.


David Berlow Type Specimens

“A collection of David Berlow’s prolific typographic work as co-founder of Font Bureau is showcased in this impressive booklet, a celebration of him receiving the Society of Typographic Aficionados (SoTA) Typography Award in 2007. Specimen pages show styles of each family for easy comparison of weight, width, copyfit and aesthetic.”

From Does This Zeldman Make My Posterous Look Fat?


Font Geek? There’s an app for that

The Font Game for iPhone

If the geek on your list loves playing The Rather Difficult Font Game by Kari Pätilä, and if that geek owns an iPhone or iPod Touch, she will adore The Font Game app, created by Kari Pätilä (game designer, web stuff), John Boardley (ilovetypography founder), and Justin Stahl (iPhone development). With 657 font samples, three levels of difficulty, and the ability to post your results to Twitter, it’s the perfect way to test or show off your type chops, or just learn.


Short URL: zeldman.com/?p=3309

Last Tangle in Firefox

Incorrect Helvetica in Firefox rendition of zeldman.com

Snow Leopard plus FontExplorer X equals screwed-up fonts in Firefox (especially Helvetica).

  • Google Search on “Snow Leopard Firefox FontExplorer X” reveals numerous incidents of CSS displaying incorrectly in Firefox (wrong font weight, wrong font style) when Font Explorer X is on Snow Leopard Macs.
  • My Flickr thread contains a screenshot demonstrating the problem plus a useful discussion of causes and possible workarounds.
  • Disabling FontExplorer X solves the problem.

Update: Buying FontExplorer X Pro and clearing font caches also solves the problem. (The problem is with Apple’s fonts, not with Firefox or FontExplorer X, but it takes mediation to fix it.)

FontShop Fonts on the Web

Zeldman

FontShop announces that they are ready to deliver their font library as web type:

[S]tarting today, Typekit users can pick from dozens of FontFonts, including FF Meta, FF Dax, and FF Netto. Plus, the Typekit service lets you test any of those FontFonts on your page before you publish.

And tomorrow?

Typekit is just one piece of a holistic strategy for FontFonts on the web. The library should be licensable in a more traditional way too. That’s where WOFF fits in. … Soon anyone will be able to license and download for their website the same professional quality FontFont they use in desktop applications, but crafted specifically for the new medium.

Hat tip: Jason Santa Maria

This has been a belated part of Web Type Day.


Short URL: zeldman.com/?p=3023

Web Type: Lupton on Zeldman

Designing With Web Standards

Today in Print, Ellen Lupton interviews Jeffrey Zeldman (that’s me) on web typography, web standards, and more. Part one of a two-part interview.

Ellen Lupton is curator of contemporary design at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum in New York City and director of the Graphic Design MFA program at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore. She is the author of numerous books and articles on design, a frequent lecturer, and an AIGA Gold Medalist.

This has been a nutritious part of Web Type Day.

Short URL: zeldman.com/?p=2932