12 Beautiful Examples Of Web Typography

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Typography is the foundation of design on the web. Back in 2006, designer and founder of iA Oliver Reichenstein even went so far as to proclaim "web design is 95% typography."

It's imperative, then, to have a thorough, grounded education in optimizing and utilizing typography to create a balanced, harmonious, accessible hierarchy of content, when working on the web.

SEE ALSO: 10 Firefox Add-Ons for Designers

To help you improve and learn more about typography, we have compiled 25 useful tools and resources, from fundamentals to modular scales.

Have we left out your favorite typography tool or resource? If so, please share your recommendations with other readers in the comments.

1. Typekit

Founded in 2008, Typekit offers a library of fonts, from old classics to new favorites, which can be used on the web. Built around web standards, it's a subscription-based library of hosted, high-quality fonts to use on websites. Typekit is also actively integrating its service into other platforms, such as WordPress. The attention to detail and flexibility of Typekit is impressive, as you add fonts to your site, you can customize how they're applied before publishing any changes. The kit editor lets you apply your fonts to CSS classes, IDs or any HTML tag in your markup. You can also add font names directly to the font stacks in your stylesheet, with advanced control over how fonts are loaded on the page and updated in real time.

The browsing interface is well organized. You can look through every font's weight and style, and see multiple samples at all sizes against different colored backgrounds.

2. Typecast

Recently acquired by Monotype, Typecast provides a platform to quickly style type in the browser and check for readability, rendering and beauty as you work. There are over 23,000 web fonts to pick from, meaning you can easily create a web-ready type system with real content. You can access web fonts from Typekit, Fontdeck, Google Web Fonts and Monotype's Fonts.com. Being able to compare fonts side by side on full-length text without having to create screenshots, assemble comps or hand-code CSS is a huge plus. You can style a typeface in precise detail as you design, and standards-compliant code is produced behind the scenes.

Styles can be set for font size, line spacing and coloring, along with OpenType features such as small caps, fractions, ligatures, lining and swash characters. As you work, Typecast generates production-ready HTML and CSS code, which can then be exported.

3. Typetester

Typetester was launched back in 2005, and is still a useful tool today. It's an application for comparing fonts for the screen, providing quick previews of selected typefaces and their common parameters, such as leading and tracking. It also generates CSS on the fly. Most major web fonts and platforms are available to choose from, including Windows and Apple Mac defaults, as well as Google Web Fonts. You can select multiple fonts on one page and then see the differences between them (by viewing them side by side) and preview how they look in Regular, Bold, Italic, Bold-Italic, Uppercase and Small Caps.

It's simple to use and you can supply your own text or just use the dummy Latin text. Additionally, you can specify a font of your own from your computer, as long as Typetester can read it. Customize the column settings with adjustments for size, leading edge, alignment, word space, and text and background colors.

SEE ALSO: 85 Top Responsive Web Design Tools

4. Type Chart

Flip through, preview and compare web typography while retrieving the CSS, with Typechart. You can browse typographic styles, download the CSS, compare Windows (ClearType) rendering with Apple Font rendering. Each style corresponds with a "style ID" to annotate prototypes and retrieve the CSS while coding. A range of web safe fonts are available, including Arial, Helvetica, Cambria, Georgia, Lucida Grande, Lucida Sans Unicode, Trebuchet MS and Verdana. You can choose the emphasis (Normal, Bold, Italics and Uppercase) as well as the font size (small to extra large).

Once you've selected your typeface, emphasis and size, clicking "Get CSS" shows a panel with the CSS code, which you can copy and paste into your own stylesheet.

5. Font Deck

Fontdeck is an elegant web font solution you can use to preview fonts on your site, using real text. As Fontdeck hosts the font files, visitors will always see the latest and best versions of the fonts. The extensive catalogue of professionally designed fonts, including numerous foundries and type designers, is impressive. It's straightforward to use and implement, with just a few lines of required CSS to display text in the typeface. A free WordPress plugin is available to download, which makes it easy to add custom fonts to your WordPress-powered website. You can also use Fontdeck with Squarespace and Cargo Collective.

It works on all modern browsers that support CSS "@font-face," including IE5 and up, along with mobile and tablet devices.


FFFFALLBACK makes it easy to find the perfect fallback fonts, so your designs can degrade gracefully. It takes the form of a bookmarklet, which can be used on webkit browsers, including Chrome, Safari and Firefox.

While it can be challenging to combine the right fonts, finding the perfect fallback font can be even tougher. To use the bookmarklet, drag it to your browser toolbar and go to the page you want to test. The bookmarklet will then scan the CSS page in order to identify existing fonts. FFFFALLBACK then clones the page and produces a tool where you can test and analyze different fallback font choices.

You can also toggle open an input in order to change font size, line height, color and more. However, remember to use "!important." The project is also available on Github to fork.

7. Web Font Generator

FontSquirrel is a fantastic resource of fonts free for commercial use; however, with Web Font Generator you can convert any font into easy to use @font-face webfonts. Upload TrueType (.ttf) or OpenType (.otf) fonts as well as Windows Postscript files (.pfb). The Mac (.dfont) format is supported, but because they can contain multiple fonts, the generator will only use the first one it finds in the file.

In order to use the generator, your font must be properly licensed and legally eligible for web embedding. If in doubt refer to the EULA (end user license agreement) of your font. There are three settings: Basic, Optimal and Expert. Basic is a straight conversion with minimal processing, Optimal is recommend for both speed and performance and the Expert option lets you take full control over the fonts, with options for selecting formats, subsetting, rendering, CSS and more.

Once you've selected your settings, click "Download Your Kit." The package contains all the necessary formats required plus the @font-face CSS code needed for implementation.

8. What Font

Using Firebug or the Webkit Inspector to find out the name of a particular font used on a webpage can be too complicated and time-consuming. WhatFont solves this with a simple bookmarklet. It identifies all the fonts used on a webpage and gives in-depth details, such as the font family, font size, along with the color, weight and line height. (You can even tweet this information.) Apart from native web-safe fonts, it detects the services used for serving the font and supports Typekit, FontDeck and Google Web Fonts.

It gives you the fallback string, and if a font called for is not installed, it's striked-through, showing the actual font used. It's important to remember it only works for online pages, not locally. Once activated, hover over text and a pop-up displays all the selected fonts information.

9. FontFriend

FontFriend is a bookmarklet that enables rapid checking of fonts and font styles directly in the browser, without editing code and refreshing pages, making it the ideal companion for creating CSS font stacks. It features drag-and-drop font previewing. Once clicked, it overlays a menu with web fonts, font variants, weights, text-transform properties, size/height entries and an element selector to target specific elements. Every clicked property then instantly updates the selected element.

It's especially useful when combined with Web Font Specimen, which lets you view how a typeface will look on the web. Combining both of these means you can experiment and test typography colors, sizes, contrasts and weights in one page, along with support for @font-face, to test non-standard fonts by simply dragging and dropping.

10. Lettering.js

Lettering.js is a jQuery plugin for radical web typography, as CSS doesn't currently offer complete down-to-the-letter control. You can target specific letters, words or lines within an element by wrapping them in spans, all while keeping the markup manageable. It splits the textual content of an element into individual spans with ordinal .char# classes, so you can then style each letter individually. As each browser handles kerning differently, it's necessary to test your results for the desired outcome. Lettering.js should not be applied to every element on a site, but it can be extremely useful for extra control.

Other exciting and interesting typography-related plugins include Textillate.js, Kern.js, Fittext and Arctext.

11. Font Combinator

Built to preview font combinations in a fast, browser-based manner, Web Font Combinator is a simple but supremely useful tool. You can edit any type on the page to preview particular text. Using the controls at the bottom of the page, you can select the element you want to modify and change the font, size, line height and color of the background or element, as well as hide an element altogether. It includes all the Google Web Fonts, plus the traditional Web Safe system fonts, such as Helvetica, Arial and Times New Roman. It's perfectly suited for setting fallback fonts and automatically updates when a new font is added to the Google Web Fonts collection.

It's also responsive, so if you resize your browser window, the combinator resizes along with it. Therefore, you can test how your fonts will look in various sections of your site or in different viewports, then adjust your sizing or font choices accordingly. Also of interest is the Font Combinator from Typotheque and the Big Book of Font Combinations from BonFX.

SEE ALSO: 20 Exceptional CSS Boilerplates and Frameworks

12. WhatTheFont

WhatTheFont from MyFonts is an established service for identifying fonts. It works by submitting an image of your selected text and letting WhatTheFont find the closest match in its database. Once an image is uploaded, proceed to the character selection page. WhatTheFont can usually tell what a character is; however, if there is any doubt, you are asked to identify various letters. Then the results page shows possible matches.

One benefit of this service is the fantastic forum community, where knowledgable type enthusiasts will help identify your font queries. WhatTheFont is also available as an iPhone and Android app.

Other noteworthy font identification services include Identifont, Find A Font and What Font Is.

13. CSS Typeset

With CSS Typeset, select your preferred font (from a range of web-safe fonts), font color, size, letter spacing, word- and text-transform, alignment and line-height, and it will generate the necessary CSS markup. It's user-friendly with a simple control panel and sliders for desired type effects. Then copy the generated output and paste it into your stylesheet. You can see the results instantly, especially useful for those new to CSS or those wanting to experiment with a suitable type for their site.

Once you enter your text on the left and have selected your settings, the generated CSS code displays on the right.

14. Google Fonts

A free and easy solution to implement non-standard, licensed fonts on your website, Google Fonts features over 600 font families. It's a quicker solution than using "@font-face," allowing you to change styles rapidly. Customize your preview to match your use case, enter custom text and change the font size. Once you've chosen a font, you will see it's impact on load time (as using many font styles can slow down your webpage). Choose the character set you want, as well as instructions on embedding the font in your webpage.

It's a very simple process to integrate fonts into your site: Just copy the generated code in the section of your HTML document. The Google Fonts API will then generate the necessary browser-specific CSS for the fonts — all you need to do is add the font name to your CSS styles.

Beautiful Web Type, by designer Chad Mazzola, is a gorgeous website that features some of the more striking typefaces available on Google Web Fonts; it's worth exploring.

15. Modular Scale

A Modular Scale, as described by Tim Brown, creator of Modular Scale and Type Manager for Typekit, is a "sequence of numbers that relate to one another in a meaningful way, which create a pleasing visual harmony not usually found in layouts that use arbitrary, conventional numbers."

The scale is created by starting with a ratio and a number, then multiplied and divided to get many resonant numbers. The excellent Modular Scale calculator does all this math for you, and has options for creating double-stranded scales. Using a Modular Scale means choosing numbers from the scale for type sizes, line height, margins and column widths. One way to effectively use this approach is to start with the text size — one at which the body text looks most crisp — and using that as the basis for a project's modular scale.

The SASSY Modular Scale takes inspiration from Tim Brown's Modular Scale and creates a family of functions and mixins for SASS. The Baseline Rhythm Calculator for typography may also be of interest.

16. Flipping Typical

Flipping Typical, built by designer and developer Stuart Robinson, is a way to explore the popular typefaces you already have installed on your computer. It shows you a piece of text, which you can edit by hovering over the text and typing, in addition to how it will display using various typefaces. When you click on a font, it becomes the main font displayed at the top of the screen, which you can more closely inspect. While JavaScript and CSS font detection isn't new, this little resource can save considerable time when choosing a typeface.

If your favorite font isn't displayed, simply click the black bar at the top of the screen and type in the font's name; it will store for the future. There are also several keyboard shortcuts, and it works on most modern web browsers.

17. PX to Em

PxtoEm is a pixels to relative em units conversion tool. Just choose your body font size in pixels, whereupon it generates a complete conversion, making fluid web design simple. Once you've chosen a font size, for example, 12px, find that number in the left column; the convertor will highlight the corresponding em conversion. With our 12px example, the percentage is 75%, which is what you will insert into your stylesheet. The highlighted numbers in the middle table will apply to the various elements within your stylesheet, such as H1, input, blockquotes, etc. The right-hand table allows for custom conversions. Once you have everything you need, click "Get CSS" at the top of the page, which contains baseline code for you to use.

When working with type it's important to be consistent with your font sizes by composing on a scale — Pxtoem can help with this process.

18. Typeit

A useful tool if you've ever had to type in a foreign language, which can sometimes include accents or other unfamiliar characters, and you only have a U.S. keyboard. TypeIt means you don't have to ignore these characters, go letter-hunting or buy third party software. Simply type into the text box and easily insert accents and characters without an additional keyboard. Then edit your text and copy it into your document, email or message.

There are useful keyboard shortcuts (Ctrl + letter), and you can even hover over each button to learn its keyboard shortcut. Plus, copy and paste from and into the text box. You can also change the typeface of the input text, if you wish.

19. Typedia

Typedia is a community to classify typefaces and provide educational advice on all things typographic. Anyone can join, add and edit pages — for typefaces or for the people behind the type. It was created by a mix of people with a desire to learn and share as much as possible about typefaces.

There are several sections worth noting: Explore, Add, Learn and the Forum. In Learn you'll find information on the anatomy of a typeface, orginal format typefaces (the format they were first released in) and typeface classifications. Explore will likely be where you spend the most time, with searches for popular typefaces, designers and foundries, along with a full classification of typefaces, ranging from Blackletter to Serif.

Typedia is a fantastic educational resource for people to learn about their favorite typefaces and discover new ones. Typophile is another excellent community of type enthusiasts.

20. Font Picker

Font Picker is a simple tool that lets you browse through the fonts installed on your computer, and narrow down your selection to choose one that's right for your project. It's available for Mac OSX, Windows 8, online and as an Air app. You can download it from the Mac App store, select the fonts you want and copy your chosen font to the clipboard. Or download it in the Windows 8 app store, click "For Air" on the homepage to use the simple, online version that can be viewed in the browser. Or finally, install as an Air app.

You can change the sample text, create a shortlist of fonts perfect for your project, share your font list with other apps, copy to the clipboard or search to find a specific font and save your font list for future use.

21. Typeplate

Typeplate is a typographic starter kit that defines proper markup with extensible styling for common typographic patterns. It's a stripped-down SASS library concerned with the appropriate technical implementation of design patterns — not with how they look. Unlike many other frameworks or pattern libraries, it separates styling and markup and doesn't make aesthetic design choices for you.

For the font base, it uses the font settings on the HTML element to standardize the typographic scale in a consistent manner. It has an incredibly small footprint of only 3KB when compressed, recommend for use just after your reset stylesheet (for example, Normalize) and your compass "@import," in order to operate as intended.

Typeplate is a well organized, thorough boilerplate for your baseline typography. It covers everything from the typographic scale, color and indenting, through to hyphenation and pull quotes.

22. Typographica

Typographica is a review of typefaces and type books, with commentary on fonts and typographic design. Founded in 2002 and relaunched in 2009, it's a collaborative effort among a group of individuals, with Stephen Coles as editor. Annually, it publishes a compilation of the best typefaces from the past year. Both designers and foundries are featured and reviewed, with quick links to type classifications, such as Blackletter and Slab Serif.

Commentaries and essays on all things typographic are especially interesting, for instance, type designer Ross Mills' take on the State of Webfont Quality and designer Verena Gerlach's essay, which asks "Where are the women in type design?"

23. I Love Typography

Founded in 2007, I love Typography was born out of a pure passion for typography, type design and lettering. Creator John Boardley (dubbed "Mr. Typography"), is a writer, designer and publisher, whose love of typography has helped make I love Typography the world's most popular fonts and typography blog. It covers all the latest fonts, type news, reviews, interviews and showcases of typographic design and related subjects, as well as educational pieces. It's a wonderfully helpful and informative resource, especially for those interested in crafting their own typefaces.

The companion to I love Typography is >We Love Typography, a collaborative effort that showcases examples of outstanding, inspirational typographic design. Along with these, John has also released Typenuts, a type-themed iPhone and desktop wallpaper resource, and >The Font Game, a rapid-fire typeface-identifying game for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

24. Thinking With Type

Thinking With Type was designed as a classroom companion to the book >Thinking with Type: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, and Students, by Ellen Lupton. From the latest style sheets for print and web to the essentials on mixing typefaces and hand lettering, the book is a visually-driven blueprint to typographic style and originality. However, the website, taken as an entity on its own, is a magnificent resource of typography-related lectures, ideas, project handouts and guidelines.

The site features guidelines and recommendations on everything from kerning, type classification and hierarchy, through to grids, editing and proofreading. Of special interest is the section of exercises to build up your typographic thinking, with free downloadable PDFs on crafting posters, letterforms, word compositions and more.

25. Font Feed

Font Feed, curated by the Font Shop, is a daily dispatch of recommended fonts, typography techniques and inspirational examples of digital type at work in the real world. It's full of useful, thoughtful and inspiring content, and is an essential resource for the web’s best in typographic design. You can pick up tips on working with type and discover a variety of fantastic underrated fonts.

Its four main sections are News, Type Tips, Fonts In Use and Handpicked Typefaces, which include newly released, stalwart classics and hidden gems. Type Tips features helpful recommendations, tutorials and guidelines to improve your typography skills; and Fonts In Use showcases typefaces "in the wild."

If you have a keen interest in typography, these additional inspirational typographic blogs and galleries are worth bookmarking. Please note, though, not all are regularly updated.

1. Typography Deconstructed

2. Type Daily

3. Fonts In Use

4. Font Swapper

5. Typograph - Scale & Rhythm

6. TinyType

7. Fontifier

8. FontBurner

9. Fleurs Coiffeur Liqueur

10. Type Inspire

11. Typography Served

12. BeType

13. From Up North

14. Incredible Types

15. Type Everything

16. Friends of Type

17. Fonts.com

18. Typographic Posters

19. Type For You

20. Typographic Posters

21. Lettering vs Calligraphy

22. Ministry of Type

Homepage image courtesy of Flickr, Garuna bor-bor

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Source : https://mashable.com/2013/05/02/typography-tools-resources/

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