Typography

How to pair typefaces

The act of choosing two typefaces is probably the first (and often most difficult) task you do when creating a new design. Many people get stuck here, myself included.

Recently, I discovered a simple method to pair typefaces effectively and I’d love to share them with you. (Hint: it’s a 3×3 grid).

Designing grids

I’d be telling you the obvious if I said that grids are important in web design. You already knew that. You probably have even coded a few grids with frameworks like Foundation or Bootstrap. You may even have created a custom grid manually, or using a grid layout tool like Susy.

But have you stopped to think about these questions for the grids you’ve made?

  • How many columns should you have?
  • Should the columns be evenly sized?
  • How big should columns and gutters be?
  • How does the grid respond to different viewports?

What are your answers?

I have searched high and low for answers to these questions in the past few months. Here’s an article consolidating everything I know about designing grids right now. Hopefully, it’ll help answer the questions you have as well.

Everything about the Modular Scale Sass Libary and Modular Scale with Typi

Previously, I shared the theory about adjusting your Modular Scale scale to size your headers for different devices. I also covered how you can do it with the Modular Scale plugin for the 4th method.

Today, I want to share more about the Modular Scale library so you can learn to integrate it into your project easily. I’m also going to share with you how to use Modular Scale with Typi.

Changing Modular Scale Ratio at Different Breakpoints

I spoke about why you may have problems with large font-sizes on the mobile and the four methods to deal with it in a previous article. In this article, we’re going to look at implementing the fourth method that was mentioned—changing the Modular Scale ratio at different breakpoints.

Responsive Modular Scale

Do your font-sizes look gigantic on the mobile? You’re not alone. It’s a common problem many people have when using Modular Scale for responsive websites.

In this article, I want to share with you how this problem arises and how to fix it so you no longer have font-size woes.

Ready? Let’s go.

Were We Wrong About Vertical Rhythm All Along?

Just a few days ago, I received a design critique from Aurobind (a font, newspaper and magazine designer) regarding my website. He specifically pointed out that the spaces between my paragraphs could be reduced to achieve a better effect.

I was dumbfounded. I didn’t believe him at first since I was already using Vertical Rhythm. If I were to reduce the amount of space between paragraphs, wouldn’t I be breaking the Vertical Rhythm?

Even though I don’t believe it, I decided to try it out since I respect his expertise and the feedback he’s willing to give. And boy, I’m utterly convinced.

Advanced Usage with Typi

Last week, I wrote a tutorial to show you how to use the mixins and functions of Typi, a library I’ve created for responsive typography. There’s a lot more to Typi that I can cover in one article. So, this week, I’m going to show you some advanced tips that I use with Typi so you can use them as well.

An In-depth Tutorial to Typi

Typi is a library I’ve created to help make responsive Typography easy. I first talked about Typi when I released the article on responsive typography in January 2016. Since then, I’ve added new functionalities to Typi to make it even better.

In this article, I’m going to tell you what Typi can do and how to use it.

Is Web Typography Completely Broken?

I recently came across an article titled “Web typography is broken. Here’s how we can fix it”. A mix of emotions rushed through me while I read through it. I realized that the biggest argument Tom was making in the article was that web typography is broken because type doesn’t sit perfectly on a baseline grid.

On one hand, I was happy to see people coming up with ideas to push code to their limits.

On the other hand, I’m unsettled. I asked myself: “Is there a need to make every line of text sit on the baseline“? I knew the importance of Vertical Rhythm and the baseline grid. I also knew that details matter when it comes to design. But is this one detail enough to break web typography?

As I browsed through the internet looking for answers, I found out that even great designers like Mark Boulton remarked that it would be cool if CSS gave us a pain free baseline grid.

This increased my urge to find out if web typography was completely broken. After all, if a great designer said the same thing, then sticking perfectly to the baseline grid should be important. Right?

Viewport Unit Based Typography

I talked about using rem and em for responsive typography and for building modular components in two blog posts previously. In both posts, comments about viewport based units inevitably comes into the picture.

I resisted working with viewport units for a while, believing that using them would be a pain in the ass because of the calculations involved.

Last week, I finally overcame the resistance and took a stab at exploring viewport units and how to use them in responsive typography.

Why is Vertical Rhythm an Important Typography Practice?

You probably heard of the term Vertical Rhythm if you researched a little about typography on the web. It’s one of the most important practices when working with typography. I’ve used Vertical Rhythm on all my sites ever since I read about it.

One day, it struck me that I haven’t had a clue why vertical rhythm was important. Two more questions quickly arose following that thought: “How does Vertical Rhythm improve the design of the site? What lessons can I draw from Vertical Rhythm so I can improve my design?”

I decided to find out why. Here are my thoughts.

REM vs EM – The Great Debate

One of the best practices to typography on the web is to use relative units like rem and em.

The question is, which should you use? There’s been a longstanding debate between rem supporters and em supporters, believing that you should use one over the other.

In this article, you’re going to find my take on rem vs em. You’re also going to learn exactly what rem and em are, and how to use them to build modular components.

Everything I know about Responsive Web Typography

Responsive typography is a tough nut to crack. This was the best method I could come up with when I first started creating responsive websites:

p {
  font-size: 16px;
}

@media (min-width: 800px) {
  p {
    font-size: 18px;
  }
}

/* Repeat for h1 - h6 and other type groups */

I’ve learned a lot more about typography since then and picked up best practices like using relative units, vertical rhythms and meaningful typography scales.

These new practices were wonderful. They made my websites look more pleasing to the eye. Implementing them, however, was a horrible experience.

I had to write complex code and I found myself struggling to create responsive websites under tremendous time pressure.

Now, after months of hacking, I’ve finally created a solution that I’m happy to share with you. It’s called Typi.

Typi is great because it allows me to use the practices I’ve learned, and at the same time solves most of the problems I’ve encountered in 3 simple steps. Let me explain these three steps by walking you through the practices I use when working with responsive typography.

Compass Vertical Rhythms

Vertical Rhythms are part and parcel of good web design. Although they are important, they can be an incredibly chore to calculate.

Luckily, Compass has a great vertical rhythm module that helps clears this mess up.

Hold on while i sign you up…

🤗
Woohoo! You’re in!
Now, hold on while I redirect you.