Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Tuesday haiku

tales of knives and men
force daybreak against the dark
Flash fox mike: nick, tuck.


Tom Bozzo said...


Thinking aloud a bit (and partly regarding a reported bee in your bonnet), contextual typography must be a theoretically-simple CSS trick, but would the resulting blog be more readable and/or aesthetically pleasing?

Xtin said...

That's interesting, Tom.

I think typography as it applies to onscreen text is a whole different ballgame. I'm sure there is all sorts of learned and/or technical discussion of why that is, but it certainly seems pretty straightforward to me (although not *why*) that san-serif fonts are A Good Thing in browser contexts, even in huge blocks.

Go figure.

So even if I could, I doubt I'd be messing with the font here. Plus kerning is a triple-chocolate sundae of a nightmare in (non-monospaced) display fonts. I have no idea who wrote those algorithms, but they suck.

I could display LaTeX as gifs if I was *really super duper* anal, I suppose .... :)

Tom Bozzo said...

I do wonder if/how higher-res displays will change that over time. At 200dpi, the displays on some iPods and the like are nearing the pixel density of the 1st gen laser printers. Perhaps more paper-like displays will make paper's "rules" apply, vs. those of airport signage.

The kerning business probably has an element of rational neglect. Pretty much anyone who really cares about the kerning of a document does hand-adjustments in page layout software; the M$ Word users are more concerned with getting their misspellings corrected. OTOH, LaTeX documents usually look OK to me -- so maybe it's inept word processor programming.

Xtin said...

Anyone who really cares about kerning should realise that their hand-adjustments are almost certain to suck, and they should use LaTeX. < \zealot >.

If LaTeX algorithms were used for display rendering, I'd use serif fonts. Probably Palatino, for preference.

Tom Bozzo said...

My assumption is that "people who care about kerning" means, mainly, graphic designers with usual skill. Way back when, even PageMaker and Quark documents benefited from hand-tweaking even by the likes of me.

I was fond of Adobe Minion back when, and back when is sufficiently long ago that my copy is on now-unreadable floppies. FYI, Marginal Utility has a super-secret Mac Firefox appearance using Baskerville for the headline styles. (I've meant to fix it for Safari, but haven't gotten round to it -- I'll probably move to Wordpress first at the current rate of template change.) /geek