172: With Tim Brown

01:07:41   Download

Tim Brown is the Type Manager for Adobe Typekit. He joins us this week for a deep dive into web typography.

We talked about (roughly in order):

Q & A:

  • 26:44 I like the Georgia font a lot and have used it for a lot of my designs. Recently I moved to Linux and realized that this font is not shipped by default on Linux. What should I do? I tried to find a web font version of Georgia but didn’t. Maybe I should try to find a web font which looks just as good?
  • 31:02 If you had to build and support a site that caters to 90+ languages, how would you go about figuring out what font stacks you would need for each language? After you figured out that daunting chore how would you implement it?
  • 38:44 I am having some frustrations with fonts. It seems like every time I load up a google font it doesn’t look crisp. I don’t know where else to go for web fonts and for some reason the idea of paying for fonts every month doesn’t sit well with me and I don’t want to try a service without knowing if its good or not. How would you recommend going about finding, selecting, and maybe buying fonts for the web?
  • 51:20 I have a small web typography tool where I list all of the fonts from the Google Fonts API. Currently, I have a dropdown menu, with each font listed by name, set in that typeface. So, the requirement is to have a dropdown where individual options can be styled.
  • You cannot style native <option> elements within a <select>, so I’m currently using a jQuery Library called Chosen (http://harvesthq.github.io/chosen/) to produce a stylable drop down. It works by basically hijacking the <select> element and replacing it with a bunch of <div>s.
  • In my next rev of this tool I’m looking to ditch jQuery altogether (as a learning experience), but am stumped about what to do with the drop downs.
  • My question to you is: Are you aware of any way to style <option> elements? Are you aware of any vanilla-JS methods of hijacking a <select> menu (the way Chosen does)? Or, do you have any thoughts on how to approach this in a different way altogether? I’m also concerned with accessibility, so I’d like to keep that in mind.
  • 59:30 I remember when I first started learning web design, I took a class at the local community college. My professor said something that I found odd. We were talking about the <link> tag, and including external stylesheets. He mentioned the “text/css” property, and that apparently the W3C foresaw stylesheets that weren’t created as text. I can’t imagine any other way, and I haven’t been able to find anything else about this. I was wondering if you guys might know what this is all about. My professor may’ve been misinformed, but why include the “type,” if there’s only one possible value?
  • 1:02:32 I want to use Typecast but you need one of these font accounts: (Font Deck, Google Web Fonts, Fonts.com, Typekit, Web Type) Which are your favorites?

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