About Me

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I am a multifaceted woman, living with intention and passion. I always see the glass as half full (ok, almost always). Currently into: jewelry design, glass beadmaking (aka lampworking), visual journaling, cooking and web design everything. Things that bring me great joy: my family, friends, Scrabble, British period pieces, Shabby Chic, Austin, TX, mini art tiles, autographed cookbooks, chocolate, Chianti, pedicures and beach glass. I don't "do" and/or dig: dishonesty, guilt, intolerance, unkindness, drama and goat cheese (it's a long story, but I love all the other cheeses!) So you now have a teeny tiny little picture of me, with a few warts thrown in. Welcome to my world!

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Anatomy of Type
     What The Font?  I'm talking about typography, type...fonts. You cannot believe the levels of detail, the amount of history and the importance of understanding typography in relation to web design. It is like peeling an onion, with so many layers, each one more fascinating and enlightening than the last. If you have seen the movie "Pleasantville," it is like seeing something in color for the first time. A new awareness is born in you and you can never look at anything in print the same way again. And considering how much of our everyday world has some type of lettering or numbering in it, there is no escaping it. It is an incredible aspect of life that most take for granted and never really notice, outside of the subliminal effects that take place, which in many cases, is the intention. Printed words are used to give us information and the font style of those words is selected to influence our perception of that information. If you understand typography though, you can see that extra subliminal message, like the character "Neo" in the "Matrix" movies, who finally sees through the computer bad guys and just sees their "code." Typography is a powerful tool, even a weapon in the
"The Matrix" bad guys in "code"
right context. The choice of font, or fonts, for a website, is one of the most important, if not thee most important detail. So making a good choice depends on how much you know about typography. And in order to understand typography, you also have to understand the basic principles of design.
     I had no idea. But I find myself loving this subject. I also find that I am guilty of having used some of the most reviled fonts in previous projects! It's a bit embarrassing, kind of like realizing that you spent the day walking around and talking to people you respect and all the while you had a big coffee stain on the middle of your shirt. Or going to the bathroom at a party and seeing a big piece of spinach stuck to one of your front teeth, and knowing that everyone you spoke with got a good look at it too. So how does a font come to be labeled as "bad?" I asked my typography instructor and I looked around online for the answer. There are two main criteria: overused and inappropriate. Comic Sans is at the top of the list. If you want to read more about it, check out this video and this website. I got an inkling of this last semester when my Web Animation instructor threatened to fail anyone who turned anything in that was created with the Comic Sans font. Her reaction to this font was visceral!
Comic Sans, the most "Unwanted" font
Can you imagine someone getting angry, really angry, about a type? My initial reaction was "who cares?" But then I realized that due to my total ignorance of the subject, I didn't understand. I just hate when I do not understand something. And here I want to be a web designer, someone who has to use type and select fonts, font weights, font sizes and font colors as part of the process. I knew then that although the college's Web Developer program does not include Typography I, there was no way I could become a good web designer without a thorough understanding of it.
     So here I am, descending down the rabbit hole, learning about typography, from the very beginning. What an eye opener! I swallowed the red pill and my view of the world will be forever altered. And you know what else? I like those red pills...

1 comment:

  1. As a Calligrapher, I LOVE fonts! : ) I always notice all fonts. Stephanie : )


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