Historically, the possibilities of any real typographical design on the web have been very limited and interactive designers certainly haven’t had it easy for the past years. It’s a shame really and when compared to what you can do in printed media, the web world is a mess of broken standards and workaround. Same goes both ways, as print designers have had problems learning to cope with and adjust to the new more limited world of the web. Still this is 2011 and we are all still wondering why designers, regardless of background, cannot have full control over their typography.
It may be functional, but from a branding perspective it’s a disaster. Typography is an important part of todays branding tools and when used right can be very powerful. For too long the attention to detail that typographic styling means have been overlooked as a whole. Let’s not forget that typographical design was a considered a sacred art back in a day and some might say that it was lost on a generation but I think we are seeing a rebuild into the typo getting back its former glory.
Sure, there are workarounds and a few alternatives developed in recent years that enables more advance styling options, but between all the formats like OFT, EOT, WOFF, SVG, CSS @font-face, SIFR, Cufon etc, they all seem to have flaws rending them more or less useless in the big picture. For one, even is the style is correct doesn’t often load instantly and flashes of non-styled content can be hugely annoying and generally we are still missing ways to kern, style, transform, and scale our web type.
The web is beginning to catch up surely, but much of these are still not implemented across all browsers etc. Modern browser have much improved text rending and the resolutions on screens a getting higher, all making for a better viewing of content and therefore fonts.
Things are brewing out there though and its about to change the myths surrounding the limitations of typography on the web. Perhaps the most interesting version of fonts is the Google web fonts released last year, enable free font for the masses.
The type nerd in all of smiles when thinking of the new possibilities and the beautiful web designs ahead of us. Hell, I even hear it turns some people on.
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