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On Web Typography

(A Book Apart #11)

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  429 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Achieving a thorough grasp of typography can take a lifetime, but moving beyond the basics is within your reach right now. In this book, we’ll learn how to look at typefaces with a discerning eye, different approaches to typographic planning, how typography impacts the act of reading, and how to choose and combine appropriate typefaces from an aesthetic and technical point ...more
Paperback, 142 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by A Book Apart
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Feb 18, 2015 rated it liked it
Spends a tad too long on fundamentals. I felt a little over my head when I reached the diagram of the anatomy of type. Thankfully, the latter half of the book takes a far more practical approach and seemed very useful for web designers to know. I feel smarter and now notice the type around me more. The author's passion for the subject definitely comes through.

I found this interactive type attribute demo useful for learning how changing the different attributes affects the type: http://www.metafl
Jeff Van Campen
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: tech, design
I'm working on a personal project that will involve a fair bit of typography. I haven't really delved into typography in over a decade, and was looking for something to help me take a more typographic approach to the project. This book certainly did that.

As with many of the books in the A Book Apart series, this book is meant to be an introduction to the topic, to get you up to speed quickly. On Web Typography does this admirably. The first half of the book covers the basics of typography, and t
Nov 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design
On Web Typography is an excellent typography primer, and not just as it pertains to the web. In a refreshing, somewhat classical approach, Jason steps through foundational points of legibility, style, size relationships, font pairings, analysis of type choices based on knowledge of the type's design process and purpose, and more. For those who are used to working on the web but need an introduction to type and design principles, it's essential. For designers, it's a lovable refresher, though I g ...more
This is a test!
Ivy DeWitt
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: new front-end developers and designers.
Shelves: front-end-topics
'On Web Typography' is a relatively short read - I finished in about a weekend - but that does not mean it's any less packed full of useful, relevant, and engaging content. The book begins with a relatively straightforward yet interesting overview of how the mind words when reading content, which is great for drawing you into the content of the book. From there, it moves into a more comprehensive overview of type, and serves as a good primer on the important aspects of typography including class ...more
Jun 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’ll struggle with typography for awhile, but this book assured me there are methods to use when approaching typography on a website. I’m walking away with a few ideas for my own sites, and so many resources in hand to still explore.

Like everything else in web design and development, practice is key. You can know a lot of stuff in theory, but putting it to use in several projects is the only way something sticks with you.
Lasse Larsen
Sep 29, 2020 rated it liked it
This is not a bad book. It says nothing wrong. It just breezes very quickly over a lot of topics, that could easily be explored more deeply.
The intro is great, but after that it’s just a very minimal compendium of things you ought to know as a designer.
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great survey on the usage of typography on the web.
Jared Hanstra
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Started slow, but had some useful knowledge of typeface pairing, typographic systems, and technical aspects of typography.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a decent overview, but it doesn't offer solutions. I would have liked practical help with making responsive typography work... and now all the permalinks don't work. What gives A Book Apart?
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Casual and informative. Enjoyed the humorous style.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book will leave you with a foundational knowledge of typography—not just typography for the web. I didn’t go to school for graphic design. Before reading this book, I knew the bare minimum about typography. Now I have a great foundation to build from.

Anyone who works with the web will find this book accessible. The book covers the principles of typography that are relevant to both web and print. The book explains typography in the context of responsive design. It shows you what the rules ar
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Aug 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Overall, fantastic and well worth the wait. I am eager to take what I've learned and use it in some website projects! Anyone who's been interested in typography and read a little about it will be familiar with the basics that Santa Maria covers, but this compact book also includes plenty of more advanced tips, including a discussion of typography for responsive website layouts.

I learned a lot about typography and the importance of contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity (and color) from "
Meghan Schofield
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book is a fantastic overview of many, if not most of the important concepts for well designed typography. The author does a good job of making a case for why each concept is useful, while looping in how and why these rules should be applied on the web as well.

As a practitioner with 10+ years of experience I didn't learn anything new, but I still enjoyed reading several of the arguments set forth (long live the grid!). so, I was hoping for a deeper dive into the technical side of web typogr
Apr 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
I don't give five stars to work-related books but, if I did, On Web Typography would get 'em. This book is mercifully brief. I read it in a couple of hours, shorter than many blog posts I've come across. This isn't to say it's lacking anything, however. There's a pleasantly dense number of practical soundbytes to highlight and revisit. I came away from this much more prepared to critique my existing work and lay the foundation for new, better work. Definitely worth the money.
Raigo Lilleberg
Oct 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jason gives short overview of typography generally and good amount of guidance and tips, getting it right - mostly in the context of web. Also good list of resource list, for next steps.

Main takeaways (that can be used for everything in life), were the importance of context, balance, and communication. Also that big things are made of small things, so therefor connected, and typographic harmony mostly contains combination of size, hierarchy, spacing, layout, color and tone.
Usman Bashir
Nov 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: design, favorites
Absolutely fantastic! I loved it! It's a clear and brilliant primer on typography, and not just web typography. It doesn't matter if you're a designer or a developer, as long as you produce content and communicate with your readers, this is a must read. Especially, if you haven't taken a traditional typography classes.
Jan 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book made me understand web typography (and typography in general) to a far greater degree than I realized was possible. The first few chapters alone in which Maria breaks down the visual elements of a character alone were enough to blow my mind. As someone who wants to improve as a designer, this book was a great addition to my shelf, both for its own content and the recommended resources.
Jan 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Jason is a wonderful teacher, and this is a brilliant, and brilliantly concise introduction to doing typography well on the web.

It's worth it for the references alone, but getting an inside look into the process that drive one of the web's most consistently great visual designers is worth its weight in gold.

Highly recommended.
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
This took me much to long to read, unfortunately. Luckily I took lots if notes and can use it to look up things further down the track.

It's an excellent overview of typography for the web, every web designer should be aware of this information as part of their repertoire.
Les Reynolds
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great overview on the theory and practice of typography on the web in the era of responsive layouts. Heartily recommend this book to any designer or developer. I only wish there had been more examples or case studies.
Robert Crespo
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Loved it! Jason Santa Maria provides some key insights into the how and why of good typography on the web. As a web developer, I am always looking for good resources to improve my skills and "On Web Typography" succeeded.
Tim Kadlec
Oct 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic primer on web typography. Loads of useful information and advice all very clearly explained. If you've been interested in typography but have had a hard time making sense of it all, this is the ideal place to start.
Milan M
Aug 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book on web typography. Makes a great reference when starting any web project.
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic primer on typography—not just web typography.
Aug 07, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: web-design
Great to see a lot of familiar references and plenty of new ones too. A logical list of considerations and potential impacts to communicating with text.
Jay Cruz
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A delight to read. I see myself coming back to it a lot.
Dec 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great read on typography for the Web, extremely well written and useful. The perfect introduction to this matter
Matt Donovan
May 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A very practical book with just the right amount of history and theory.
Matt Wood
Jul 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Really quite helpful. Though more on the designer side rather than the developer side but I highly recommend it to both graphic designers web designers and developers need to read this too.
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Jason Santa Maria is the founder and principal of Mighty, a Brooklyn-based design studio. He is creative director of Typekit, a faculty member in the MFA Interaction Design program at SVA, former vice president of AIGA/NY, co-founder of A Book Apart, founder of Typedia, a shared encyclopedia of typefaces online, and creative director for A List Apart, a magazine for people who make websites. He’s ...more

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