TYPE DESIGN INFORMATION PAGE last updated on Wed Jan 17 11:01:04 EST 2018






Information Architects [Oliver Reichenstein]

Blog about information design, with occasional articles about typography, such as Web Design is 95% Typography (2008). That article has good common sense advice, so I quote passages.

  • Macro-typography (overall text-structure) in contrast to micro typography (detailed aspects of type and spacing) covers many aspects of what we nowadays call information design. So to speak, information designers nowadays do the job that typographers did 30 years ago: Typography has one plain duty before it and that is to convey information in writing. No argument or consideration can absolve typography from this duty. A printed work which cannot be read becomes a product without purpose. Optimizing typography is optimizing readability, accessibility, usability(!), overall graphic balance. Organizing blocks of text and combining them with pictures, isnt that what graphic designers, usability specialists, information architects do? So why is it such a neglected topic?
  • The main usually whiny argument against typographical discipline online is that there are only few fonts available. The second argument is that the screen resolution is too low, which makes it hard to read pixelated or anti-aliased fonts in the first place. The argument that we do not have enough fonts at our disposition is as good as irrelevant: During the Italian renaissance the typographer had one font to work with, and yet this period produced some of the most beautiful typographical work.
  • Information design is not about the use of good typefaces, it is about the use of good typography. Which is a huge difference. Anyone can use typefaces, some can choose good typefaces, but only few master typography.
  • It is part of a web designers job to make sure that texts are easy and nice to read on all major browsers and platforms. Correct leading, word and letter spacing, active white space, and dosed use of color help readability. But thats not quite it. A great web designer knows how to work with text not just as content, he treats text as a user interface. Treating text as a user interface is the only parameter for success. Successful websites manage to create a simple interface AND a strong identity at the same time.

Information Architects
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Luc Devroye ⦿ School of Computer Science ⦿ McGill University Montreal, Canada H3A 2K6 ⦿ lucdevroye@gmail.com ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org ⦿ http://luc.devroye.org/fonts.html