Between the 30th and 31st of March, I attended the Dibi Conference in Edinburgh. Over the course of the 2 days, I picked up lots of valuable information. Some of this information ranged from the way in which I should be thinking when tackling briefs, all the way down to the fine details on a project. With there being a range of talks from Joshua Davis all the way to Uber and Airbnb, lots of different techniques and methods were talked about. For me, one really stood out. This was Bram Stein’s talk about the Science of Typography.
I’ve always been a bit of a geek with type, always dwelling over what font weight looks best or whether the line height is just right; that’s just my nature. Luckily, Bram is on the same wavelength. In his talk, Bram talked about the history of traditional type, but swiftly got talk about the age of digital type and how the web was (and still to a large extent still is) not a good platform for good quality typography. I reasoned with this and understood where he was coming from. Web just doesn’t quite seem up to scratch with traditional type.
As he progressed through his talk, he began talking about the implementation of features within web such as the ability to match up x-heights of typefaces to match each other. But is that correct? From a designer’s point of view, probably not.
The part of Bram’s talk that really got me interested was when he talked about an extension he had created called “Typography Inspector”. This extension is a tool for developers and designers to test different values of text on a web page. For example, it gives you and idea of recommended line length through the use of colour; red is bad line length and green is a good, recommended line length.
This is an excellent way to quick identify a balance in your layout and work towards creating a solid layout.
Since the conference, I have been using the tool on my own projects and have found it very useful, so thank you, Bram.