Typography Today

One of my duties here at Old Hat is to design websites. This process usually involves a complicated series of hand gestures, smoke signals and tribal dances. At the end of the process we produce a shiny new website for the client. 

It's no secret that I love gadgets and tools of any kind and that applies to web design as well. We use a variety of web services and design software to do what we do and today I'm going to talk about a few of them. 

First up, fonts. 

Yeah, I said it. Fonts. Designers love to talk about fonts. Which ones suck (Curlz MT and Papyrus...) and which ones are awesome (Gotham and anything from House Industries.)

The thing that used to really suck about designing for the web is that your use of fonts was pretty limited. You could maybe use a little Helvetica for your sans-serif needs or some Georgia for your serif needs but let's be honest, the choices were not vast. This did not make Dustin a happy man. And when I refer to myself in the third person you know I'm not happy. 

Then things changed. The heavens parted and some smart people figured out a way to make the web more fun. And infinitely better looking. We use a couple of tools to enhance our web font capabilities. Most of these came into existence in just the last couple of years. To which I say, "Hells yeah son!" 

Typekit is one we've been using for awhile now. Typekit is a subscription-based library of hosted, high-quality fonts for use on websites. You just pick the fonts you want to use on your site and typekit serves them up. Awesome. 

Actually there's a bit more to it, but just go check it out if you're interested. 


However, one of the problems that I always had with using Typekit is that I couldn't always design with the fonts I wanted to use. They weren't available in Photoshop for me to design with and they would render a bit different on the web than they would in my design.

Enter Typecast. Typecast is a cool new tool that allows you to design in the browser, with the same fonts you use from Typekit (and other web font services) and then export the CSS for use in your site. No more screenshots of fonts pasted into Photoshop. No more endless tweaking of font sizes by our developers. No more pulling my hair out over text layouts that don't look the way they were intended. 

This tool is pretty much brand new, but I'm excited for the prospects.

That's it for typography today. Have a great weekend everyone!


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