Posts Tagged ‘fonts’


Smooth fonts in Windows XP

August 19, 2008

Do you use an LCD monitor or laptop? Do the fonts look funny? In Windows XP you can set the display so that fonts are smooth (no jaggy edges).

Here’s how:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Display, then select the Appearance tab.
  2. Click the Effects button.
  3. Select the Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts check box, then select ClearType from the drop-down list.
  4. Click OK to save and close all settings.

[This article was first published in the December 2006 CyberText Newsletter]


Fonts, typography

August 15, 2008

For a good introductory book to typography, you can’t go past Robin Williams’ The Non-Designer’s Type Book. I read it a few months ago, and even though I thought I knew ‘a bit about type’, I still learned a lot. My assessment: You’ll never look at type the same way again!

While you’re at it, take a look at Robin’s other popular book, The Non-Designer’s Design Book. My assessment: Lots of “of course” moments, but that doesn’t detract from the book. Far from it. This book gives the reasons why some design elements work and other don’t. Lots of examples.


Video: Font conference

July 24, 2008

If you’re into fonts in any way, you should rank this clever video somewhere between ‘amusing’ and ‘brilliant’. I’m at the ‘brilliant’ end… Enjoy!

Video: (I think it runs for about 3 minutes)

(Thanks to Dave G for sharing it with me)


You want fonts with that?

July 13, 2008

Nathan Ford, over at unit interactive, has written a great blog post on moving a little outside the square when it comes to defining ‘font stacks’ in CSS, such as: font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

He suggests that you define the stacks according to their purpose (context), specifying your ideal font first, then the alternative (or font that best fits), followed by a common font, then the generic one. While he suggests four, there’s nothing to stop you from defining six or ten fonts in your stacks. The ideal font you specify doesn’t have to be a font that’s installed on everyone’s machine, and he gives us some links to stats on what’s installed on computers around the world, as well as a comparison of the fonts mentioned in his article as a downloadable PDF document.

One thing he didn’t mention is the great Typetester tool where you can select fonts, specify their attributes (including dynamic color and background color), see how they display in your browser, then grab the CSS for the font combination you want. It sure beats changing the CSS, and refreshing the browser to test out every nuance!

That blog post again?


Like that font?

May 3, 2008

Have you seen a font you like but don’t know what the designer used? How do you find a font among the thousands that are available? Some websites have the answer! Take a look at these:

  • What the Font? This site lets you upload an image of the font you like, then it uses some smart, behind-the-scenes, mathematical algorithms to figure out what font was used. You may have to confirm the letters used, then it displays fonts like those in the image.
  • Identifont Identifont offers two methods of finding a font. You can answer questions about its appearance, or, if you know its name, you can search for it and get information on how and where to purchase it, where it came from, and other fonts similar to it. The screen shot below shows an example of a search for the Frutiger font.
Frutiger font from Identifont

Install Vista/Office 2007 fonts on Windows XP

January 31, 2008

Microsoft has done some nice work on their new fonts. However, these fonts only come with Vista (and the Office 2007 programs). But what if you’re using Windows XP and Office 2003 and want to install these fonts? Well, you can’t get them easily using the standard things you’d think of, like going to the Microsoft site and downloading and installing them. That won’t work as Vista fonts can’t be installed on Windows XP (i.e. you can’t get a copy of a font installed on Vista, then install it on XP using the usual XP font installation methods).

What WILL work is downloading and installing the free file format conversion application—the program that allows Office 2003 users to view documents, presentations etc. created in Office 2007. That install the converters AND the new fonts!

Here’s where you get it (this link is REALLY long so I’ve shortened it with TinyURL, but it goes direct to the download page on the Microsoft website):