Moderated by Jessica Hische, the panelists included Tim Brown, Scott Kellum, and Nick Sherman. This event was part of the program’s excellent Herb Lubalin Lecture Series, which is open to the public, and usually free.
Much of the talk was very technical, but it was a very educational discussion between extremely knowledgeable and type-passionate people. The panelists felt that we are at a time of important advancement and improvement in the way typography looks on the web — but also in the way fonts are licensed and used. Jessica Hische’s point that the general public doesn’t realize how much work goes into making a typeface, usually by a single person, really drove home for me the importance of fair licensing. Which is what makes sites like Typekit great for protecting type designers, as well as making things simple for type users. I think it was Tim Brown who said that now is a great chance to create a system of pricing that works for everyone.
My favorite part of the discussion was when Nick Sherman said that when he saw the iPhone retina screen and how beautiful it could make type look, it changed his whole outlook on the world. He said it in such a heartfelt manner — that’s just adorable! We should all be so moved by technology that’s beautiful and not scary to look at.
Exciting things I learned about:
• WOFF = web open font format
• Lettering.js lets you typeset type on the web!!
• Kern.js lets you kern type on the web!
At the end they answered Twitter and audience questions, and also showed examples of sites that use webfonts. This Friends of Mighty site, Lost World’s Fairs, which uses WOFF and Typekit, just blew my mind:
Real type! It’s enough to make you tear up. I am way too low-tech to implement this on my site on my own, but one day! Just gotta stop being afraid to touch my site now that it’s been awhile. But seeing examples like this are enough to change my outlook on the world.