8 Simple Ways to Improve Typography In Your Designs

I wrote this article for Smashing Magazine and it was published last Friday on their site. I’m re-publishing it here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy.

Many people, designers included, think that typography consists of only selecting a typeface, choosing a font size and whether it should be regular or bold. For most people it ends there. But there is much more to achieving good typography and it’s in the details that designers often neglect.

These details give the designer total control, allowing them to create beautiful and consistent typography in their designs. While these details can be applied across different types of media, in this articles we’re going to focus on how to apply them to web design using CSS. Here are 8 simple ways you can use CSS to improve your typography and hence the overall usability of your designs. Continue reading “8 Simple Ways to Improve Typography In Your Designs”

The Typographic Desk Reference


For a type geek such as myself, it doesn’t get better than this! I know John will definitely love this.

The Typographic Desk Reference is a quick reference guide of typographic terms and classification with definitions of form and usage for Latin based writing systems. TDR contains over a thousand facts on typography.

Written and designed by Theodore Rosendorf the guide includes a foreword by Ellen Lupton, author of the excellent book Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students. Can it get any better than this?

The principal text is set in Adobe Caslon, designed by Carol Twombly in 1989.

TDR will be available in January 2009 but you can pre-order a copy from Oak Knoll.        

Setting Up A Baseline Grid


Check out this excellent write up on Typophile on how to setup a flexible baseline grid in Adobe InDesign. The author has set up the grid so that every baseline is 12pts apart. This is a good setting that gives you a few leading options to choose from, but someone commented below the article that they’ve setup a 3pt system, which in my opinion works very nicely. Having a baseline every 3 pts gives you great flexibility with leading allowing you to create typography that is more dynamic.

Have a read and also join in on the discussion. I’ve commented under the name YOTS.