Dynamic Textual content Substitute – A Listing Aside

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Ten years in the past this month, A Listing Aside printed Stewart Rosenberger’s “Dynamic Textual content Substitute.” Stewart lamented textual content styling as a “boring headache of internet design” with “solely a handful of fonts which can be universally accessible, and complicated graphical results are subsequent to inconceivable utilizing solely customary CSS and HTML.” To assist ease these pains, Stewart offered a method for styling typography by dynamically changing textual content with a picture.

I started working on the net 5 years after Stewart’s article was printed, proper across the time when internet fonts have been gaining reputation. It was an thrilling time, with a slew of latest typefaces, foundries, and new methods for styling textual content with CSS3 cropping up ceaselessly. It appeared—for a second—that we might lastly “management” typography in a approach that we by no means might earlier than.

I used to be just lately trying on the state of default system fonts and realized that we’re by no means going to have as a lot management over typography as we wish. However that’s okay.

As an alternative, I’ve been seeing extra nuanced discussions about typography, targeted on putting a steadiness between having stunning typography with out taking an enormous efficiency hit. I respect that as an trade we’re devoted to creating the perfect experiences attainable, no matter machine or connection velocity.

It’s simple to get carried away with internet fonts, and sluggish our websites down considerably consequently. Whereas we could now not want to make use of dynamic picture substitute, the deliberate method Stewart advocated is price revisiting:

“Sticking with the standard typefaces is sensible for physique textual content, however in relation to our headings—brief, attention-grabbing blocks of textual content—it might be good to have some selection within the matter.”

In one other 5 years, we’ll have utterly completely different methods and a number of different issues. If we’re considerate and deliberate with our (kind) choices, we’ll have the ability to evolve far more simply.

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