I’ve been working on a couple of web design projects, and as a die-hard print person it’s been really interesting. Typography on the web is completely different than in print. I feel like I’m learning design all over again. And I’m surprised at how much I love it. But more than that, you have to consider the user in a way that you don’t with print. With print, the reader can only do one thing: turn the page. With the web, the user can (and wants to) do a million things, but the trick is to get them to go where you want them to go. To see the content you want them to see. It’s like a game.
Today, I discovered Tim Brown’s (of Typekit) site and he said: “Typography that moves like the web moves – exists like the web exists – is not the same typography I learned about in school. And although I’ve been working on the web and thinking about web typography for nearly a decade, I don’t yet understand the differences. I’m getting there. Focusing on core concepts feels like a good step toward a deep understanding.” Nice Web Type is a fantastically useful site, and speaking of Typekit, that’s just all sorts of radness. Finally, beautiful fonts that work on the web! See above for a great video, where Tim talks about about the history and craft of typography and the use of modular scales.
When I was in design school, I sat through the web classes and made a few mediocre websites, but I didn’t really retain anything because I never thought I’d become a web designer. I was just so in love with print, that’s what I focused on. But then, the iPad didn’t exist. The web was just starting to look decent. Things were shifting. I want to kick myself now. I should have known it would only get more beautiful. Although, it is nice to have something new to learn. And since it’s the digital space, I’ll probably have to relearn everything in a couple years anyway. :)