This is a great interview with Rich on all things related to web typography—including, of course, variable fonts.
I’m so lucky that I literally get to work side by side with Rich; I get to geek out with him about font stuff all the time.
You’ll need to be comfortable with using the command line, but this is a very useful font subsetting tool from those clever folks at Filament Group.
The gorgeous website for this year’s Ampersand conference might well be one of the first commercial uses of variable fonts in the wild. Here, Richard documents all the clever things Mark did to ensure good fallbacks for browsers that don’t yet support variable fonts.
In fact, you can do more than saving the date: you can snap up a super early bird ticket for whopping £85 saving.
Here’s the flow that eBay use for the font-loading. They’ve decided that on the very first page view, seeing a system font is an acceptable trade-off. I think that makes sense for their situation.
Interestingly, they set a flag for subsequent visits using
localStorage rather than a cookie. I wonder why that is? For me, the ability to read cookies on the server as well as the client make them quite handy for situations like this.
A good introduction to variable fonts, and an exploration of the possible interface elements we might use to choose our settings: toggles? knobs? sliders? control pads?
Everyone’s been talking about
font-display: swap as a way of taking the pain out of loading web fonts, but here Chris looks at
font-display: optional and
font-display: fallback as well.
Douglas Coupland on web typography.
When I discuss the internet’s feel and its random rodeo of fonts, I think of the freedom, naivety, laziness, greed, cluelessness and skill I see there — it’s a cyberplace as wondrous as the bubbling cradle of pea-soup goo from which life emerged. The internet has a rawness, a Darwinian evolutionary texture. It’s a place where metrics totally unrelated to print typography dictate the look and feel.
Monica takes a look at the options out there for loading web fonts and settles on a smart asynchronous lazy-loading approach.
This is what Nick Sherman has been banging on about for years, and now the time has come for variable fonts …as long as typographers, browser makers, and standards bodies get behind it.
More details on Ev’s blog.
A good ol’ polemic in favour of using web fonts. It’s a good read although I strongly disagree with this line of reasoning:
The average internet speed in the United States today is three times as fast as it was in 2011.
But that americentric view is redeemed later on:
The World Wide Web may be a creation of the West, but now, at long last, it needs to get ready for the rest.
I may not agree with all the points in this article, but I think we can all agree that if we’re going to use web fonts, we must use them responsibly …otherwise users are going to treat them as damage and route around them.
font-display property is landing in browsers, and this is a great introduction to using it:
If you don’t know which option to use, then go with
A terrific rundown of all your options when it comes to web font loading.
I’ve always loved the way that Edward Tufte consistently uses Bembo to typeset his books. Here’s a version made for screen and freely licensed.
Some smart thoughts on web fonts.
I love good typography but I have to agree with the sentiment expressed here.
System fonts can be beautiful. Webfonts are not a requirement for great typography.
A single page showing all the weights available from Google fonts at a glance.
The transcript of a great talk by Wilto, focusing on responsive images, inlining critical CSS, and webfont loading.
When we present users with a slow website, a loading spinner, laggy webfonts—or tell them outright that they‘re not using a website the right way—we’re breaking the fourth wall. We’ve gone so far as to invent an arbitary line between “webapp” and “website” so we could justify these decisions to ourselves: “well, but, this is a web app. It… it has… JSON. The people that can’t use the thing I built? They don’t get a say.”
We, as an industry, have nearly decided that we’re doing a great job as long as we don’t count the cases where we’re doing a terrible job.