Be nice. Or else.
Colorado Designer at Jeremiah Shoaf Design LLC Joined over 3 years ago via an invitation from Asher S.
Visit typographychecklist.com for the free demo version.
Most of this content was directly copied-and-pasted from my site Typewolf. Just wanted to say I had nothing to do with this post...
Thanks for the kind words. :)
I’ll try to feature this coming up on Typewolf!
Love the aesthetic. You should use an apostrophe in “I’ll” rather than a straight quote: option + shift + ]
You should look into Statamic—v2 was just released. Tons of features and can work for pretty big sites.
I think system fonts can be a good idea in cases where site speed/performance is of utmost importance. San Francisco and Roboto are definitely a step up from Arial and Georgia.
But from a branding perspective I think they will appear generic and pretty soon just feel like default options. So it’s a tradeoff between creating a strong brand that makes an emotional impression vs pure site speed.
My prediction is that it will become trendy for awhile and then people will get sick of it after seeing every site using San Francisco. :)
1) If the typeface is perfect for your project then I wouldn’t worry too much about the typeface being too popular overall as long as it isn’t overused within your target market. Sometimes things feel really overplayed to designers but will feel new and fresh to your target audience.
If it’s a typeface that is really used everywhere then it may be worth looking into different typefaces that share a similar aesthetic. I did a blog post about the 10 most popular fonts of the year where I listed four alternatives to each typeface that isn’t as overused. That could be a good place to start.
You could also just use the overused typeface in a new or different way. Maybe use a different weight or style or do stuff with color to make it stand out.
2) I prefer buying as well rather than renting through a service. I’ve heard type designers don’t make much through services like Typekit unless the font is super popular. If I were a type designer, I would just focus on doing really amazing work and then selling at a higher price point more as a luxury item. Trying to compete on price is difficult as there are so many free fonts available now. There is an “exclusivity” factor and I think people will pay money for that, especially for a really high quality product.
3) The more I learn about type, the more complex typeface design seems. I feel like it would take years and years of study and practice to create something I would be proud of. So I really don’t have any desire to go down that route.
As far as sidebearings vs kerning, I would check out the TypeDrawers forum. That is where all the type designers hang out and they have lots of posts on the technicalities of typeface design.
Hope that helps!
Thank you, James—really appreciate it!
Thanks for having me, Max!
1) Typewolf runs on Statamic which is a flat-file CMS that I am absolutely in love with. It’s super simple yet has enough features to run pretty complex sites. The absence of a database and heavy use of caching helps Typewolf load quickly.
The front-end was built with Zurb Foundation 6.
My favorite tool is probably WorkFlowy. I use it to manage all my projects and to-do items. It just gels really well with the way my mind works.
2) I block off 4 hours every morning to work on my most important task of the day. No email or social media, just focused work. I use SelfControl to block any distracting sites like Reddit. After that, I am kind of done for the day. I’ll work on email and misc tasks but that will be interspersed between walking the dog, taking care of the baby and other family stuff. As long as I get the 4 hours in, I stay pretty productive despite what happens the rest of the day.
3) Slither.io—this game is strangely addicting. I have to block it during my focused work period. :)
Thanks man—the monetary support is super helpful. :)